Tuesday, February 28, 2006

1 in 71,000

Filed Under: Poker

Since I'm only averaging about one of these a year I thought I'd share.

I ended up busting out in 7th place. I thought I was laying a trap when in fact I was being trapped. Oh well, a cash is a cash. This makes two final tables in a row for me in the WWDN tourneys.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wrong Move At The Right Time?

Filed Under: Poker

Going all in on a draw. When is it the right thing to do?

Last night in a $10 SNG on PokerStars I had a situation come up that I believed was played correctly, but my opponent did not. I want to delve into the hand and take a look at the math. Lets find out if it was the right move, or the wrong move.

To preface let me tell you that I am not a numbers/math guy. I know about pot odds and how to figure them but I don't necessarily play by the numbers. They are good for helping with tough decisions but I'm more about what my opponent is likely to do, cause and effect. This is probably why I am a horrible multi-tabler. I generally play 2-3 tables at a time but more than that and I get overwhelmed. I am also not a poker book reader. I own 3 but have only read one of them cover to cover. This little exercise is just as much for my own edification as yours.

The Beginning

We are down to 5 players and I sit with the second largest chip stack at T3,313. The blinds are 75/150. I sit on the button and am dealt AcQc. It is folded to me and I make the standard raise of 450. The small blind folds and the Big Blind calls. The flop comes down Jh6cJc and my opponent pushes all in for his last 1,762.

The Middle

Now what's a grind to do? This player has been pretty solid up to this point. He hasn't gotten out of line and I would say he is a winning player. He's no poker savant but better than the average player at this level. We have only really been involved in two big pots together since getting down to 5 handed. I made him lay down his hand on both occasions. Once I thought I had the best hand, once I think I did not.

Based on my assessment I really put him on middle pair at this point. If he had a Jack he knows I'm aggressive enough to probably bet the hand for him. That means he has no reason to bet yet. Hes telling me he doesn't want a call. The all-in was probably his best move if I'm right about what he's holding. If I just have overcards he's thinking I can't make this call.

Of course I do only have over cards but they are suited and match up with the board. Based on my read I believe that any Ace, Queen, or club will give me the win.

If I lose the hand I become the short stack having only T1,101 left. The closest chip stack to me then would be a player who has T1,162. I believe that I can recover if I do indeed lose the hand.

Now if I win I jump up to T5,600 and take the chip lead. I will have about a T1,000 chip cushion to work with. I also get the added benefit of now being down to 4 handed which is the prime chip stealing time. Having the chip lead at this stage makes going on to win that much easier than having to struggle through with a short stack.

What does the math tell us? Again I will base all this on what I believed my opponent to have, which is middle pair. With that flop I am actually a coin flip with two cards to come. The numbers work out for my opponent to have a 49.49% chance at winning while I have a 50.2% chance. My outs as I see them at this point are 9 for the clubs, 3 for any Ace, and 3 for any Queen, giving me a total of 15 outs. With two cards to come I need pot odds of .9:1 or greater to make this call. The pot is laying me 1.5:1 so we have the correct money in the pot to allow the call.

Lets go a little further and look at chip equity. Using ICM and Poker Calculator we can come up with some equity figures that will help us out. Based on the remaining players chip stacks and assigning random hands to the three we don't get to see, I have fold equity of 21.94% and a call equity of 22.3%. Not a whole lot of difference here, but in this specific situation, again the numbers point to a call.

The End

Based on my read and the stack sizes as I saw them, I made the call. As the cards were turned up I found my read was correct and my opponent held 9s9c. One of my outs was now gone but the numbers are the same. The turn made my hand as the 2 of clubs fell and the 10 on the river wasn't a miracle card for my opponent. As is usually the case when the player with the "best" hand at the time loses, I was berated in the chat window.

So was this a case of wrong move at the right time? No. The numbers tell us it was the right move at the right time. Just remember this next time your opponent calls with a draw and your thinking he's an idiot. He may just know something you don't.

Self Affirmation

Filed Under: Poker

Right now I'm running well, but I sure could have used this last month. Twenty-One Outs has a very nice self affirmation post. Go check it out.

Here Comes The Spider-Man

Filed Under: Tech

Even if your not into case modding (custom designed PC cases) you should check out this guys work. It's pretty damn amazing.

Spider-Man Case Mod

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Change of Venue

Filed Under: Poker

What's that you say? A poker post, on this site?

I still play a lot of poker, I'm just not writing about it. So here's an update. I've decided to move my sit-n-go play back to PokerStars. This is not because I'm not doing well at Full Tilt. On the contrary things are going very well at Full Tilt.

You see I'm jonesing for an ipod. I already own a Dell DJ which is a hard drive based MP3 player, I just feel left out by not having an ipod and all the cool accessories that can go with it. I know, it's weird.

Since I already have a player, I cannot, in good conscience, spend the money on a new one. In an effort to get one for free. (as much as FPP points are free). I searched all of the FPP stores at the sites in which I have an account, and lo and behold, PokerStars offers that device for 16,000 FPP's.

I currently only have a little over 5,000 so this could take some time. I'm estimating I'll have to pay $2,200 in tournament fees to get there. Once you look at the figures it seems ridiculous to spend that much to get something that costs $150, but since I'm going to play anyway, I may as well have something to work for.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Slap A Ho Day

Filed Under: News

The Sex Workers Outreach Project USA has decided to ask for a boycott of the Grand Theft Auto Franchise. Within the games a player can solicit the services of a Ho and beat them down if so inclined.

As a parent, there is no way in hell I will let my kids play or watch someone play one of these games. As an adult, I'm all for a good video game time and as long as everyone, including the HO's, realize that it's just a game, no harm done.

So until they get a grip...do me a favor and Slap A Ho Today.

Hubba Hubba

Filed Under: News

After an exhaustive search the new face of Lara Croft for the upcoming Tomb Raiders: Legends game was announced. She's no Angelina but who am I to complain, I just want some more Lara Croft goodness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Computer

Filed Under: Tech, News

A tagline will be added to all posts to go along with my decision to post about more than just poker. This will let you know what it's about so you can decide early on whether to read it or not.

This month marks the birthday of what was "publicly" the first machine computer. Through reading the article I discovered that women were the first programmers. They held the title of computers. So technically whenever I sit here at my computer playing poker, surfing the web, looking at porn...I'm really just paying homage to women.

Think my wife will go for that?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Friday, February 10, 2006

Chinese Water Torture

Ok...it wasn't quite that bad, but I dare you to sit through three hours of an elementary school talent show and tell me that it's not torture.

I actually felt a little bad for some of the kids. A few of them froze on stage, motionless, microphone in hand. Staring out into the blackness of on overly loud and quite bored audience. Three minutes of background accompaniment playing over the speakers awaiting a voice to give it life.

An off key shrill voice mind you...yet a voice all the same.

It is amazing the tunnel vision that can be produced when you regard your own child. I'm sure every parent out there thought their own son or daughter was the most talented. It is a gift that we humans are blessed with. An undying love and appreciation for our offspring. And I tell you it's a damn good thing we possess that gift because I for one wish I had a big hook and a gong for every act, all three hours.

Test of email posting

This is only a test....ignore it

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Proof that the NFL knows the Superbowl was rigged.

Fair Use


I'm sure anyone who reads this already rec. this email...but just in case you didn't this looks like it could be fun.

CardPlayer.com Launches Fantasy Poker Contest
Free Contest Offers Nearly $1,000 in Prizes

Sports fans have their fantasy football, baseball, and hockey leagues. Now poker fans can join in the fun.

CardPlayer.com recently unveiled the first round of its Card Player Fantasy Poker Contest.

The first contest, which will begin Feb. 16 at the Commerce Casino’s LA Poker Classic, will be free for all users.

This contest is sponsored by UltimateBet.com and the winner will receive a seat in the $500-buy-in weekly tournament at UltimateBet.com, and two runner-ups will each receive an entry to the $200-buy-in Sunday tournament.

The first contest concludes after the final event of the LA Poker Classic.

“CardPlayer.com is excited to offer the poker community an opportunity to win great prizes like those offered by UltimateBet.com through our fun and interactive contests,” says Card Player Media Chairman Barry Shulman. “Look for Card Player to continue offering inexpensive ways for poker players to win seats into the 2006 World Series of Poker.”

Card Player’s second Fantasy Poker Contest will coincide with the Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose, California, starting Feb. 27. The winner will receive a $10,000 seat in the main event of the 2006 World Series of Poker, plus $2,000 in spending money.

This second contest will cost $30 to participate. Of that amount, $10 is available for reloading your player bankroll. If you don’t reload, you get a $10 refund, so you could win a seat to the 2006 World Series of Poker for only $20.

Card Player will offer several similar contests at major events throughout the year.

For full details these contests, go to www.cardplayer.com/fantasy-poker

Jay Leary

Web Marketing Manager
Card Player Magazine
Email: jay@cardplayer.com

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Change of Habit

All Sit N Go's are not created equal. Unfortunately we live in a world where every poker site seems to have a different structure. Some rooms may start with 1,500 chips while others make it 800. Some might have 10 minute blinds while others have 8. Then we get into the structure in which the blinds increase. There seems to be an endless array of choices, or endless supply of headaches, depending on how you look at.

A side effect of all these choices is that each has to be played a little differently. If any of you recall, at the end of last year I was playing almost exclusively SNG's at PokerStars. I found that to maximize my profit I would run the SNG's in sets of three. All three would be started up at about the same time and I wouldn't start any more until I had finished the last one. This was working well for me.

At the beginning of this year I moved my SNG play to Full Tilt. Why? I was clearing a bonus and Full Tilt offers me an incentive that PokerStars doesn't. Now there isn't a whole lot of difference between the PokerStars and Full Tilt SNG's. Each has a starting chip stack of 1,500 and each also has 9 player fields. The difference lies in the blind structure. Full Tilt's increases a little more rapidly but it also features more levels. This leads to a flatter structure where you can sit back and wait longer for premium hands. At the end of the tournament though, the action is a little faster so stealing becomes even more important.

My experience at PokerStars showed me that generally it was easier (this may me due to the level of competition as much as the structure) to obtain a dominant chip stack by the time 4 players were left. This meant that you didn't have to begin exerting real pressure on your opponents until you were down to 4 players. With everyone fearful of not making the money it was generally easy to steal at this point, regardless of where the blinds were in relation to the stacks.

At Full Tilt I've found that when you reach the final 4 or 5 the stacks are generally pretty even. Stealing needs to begin occurring when your down to 5 players at this site. With the chips being spread out more evenly any one hand can give someone the dominant stack. That stack needs to be you.

Also starting 3 tables at a time and waiting for the round to finish wasn't working for me at Full Tilt. I tried different rotations and I've discovered starting 2 tables works best for me. I also no longer need to wait for both to finish before starting up another. If I happen to bust out early I can now just fire up another one. The flatter structure allows me to spend more time with the table I'm further along on, without sacrificing play at the new one. Since going to this rotation I've found my ROI sky rocket. I'm now doing better at Full Tilt than I was at PokerStars.

If you find yourself struggling with a new structure at a new site, don't be afraid to mix things up. It's trial and error. Once you find the right combination it becomes well worth it. I'm sure that I could have eventually changed my game to fit what I was doing at PokerStars, but I would be sacrificing needed profit in the mean time.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Winning Back

With the first week of February coming to a close it is with a great sigh of relief that I can report some actual winning at the tables. January came to a close with every limit played at ending in the red. Limit, No limit, SNG's, Multi table tournaments, everything.

January was a highly discouraging month but so far in February things have been the exact opposite. I'm winning again at the SNG's and am up overall. I'm winning at No limit now but still haven't recovered all of the losses from January yet. I have no plans to play limit poker again anytime soon but one never knows what the future will hold.

Speaking of future. Have you seen the spoof movie trailier Brokeback to the Future. If you haven't go check it out, funny stuff.

I haven't played on Absolute Poker in so long that they have given me ten free dollars to do what I want with. I may save it for my first buyin of the newly announced PSO poker league, or I may squander it at a micro limit NL table, who knows.

I'm going to start posting about more random things than just poker on this blog from here on out. I really don't have anything to say about poker that you probably haven't heard before, so except for updates on my own play I'm going to start throwing in some news items, commentary on what interests me and other assorted items. This may or may not drive away my 10 loyal readers but it's my blog and I'll write what I want to.

P.S. I'm not kidding about only having 10 readers. According to sitemeter I have had an average of 10 visitors a day for months now.