Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Duece (Statistics)

After dropping back down to the $12 Turbos I've managed to finish up just over 200 of them. That means it's stats time. I've been on a bit of a tread water/slight downturn over the last 80 or so.

I know I've been making some mistakes early in the tourneys. These could be avoided by tightening up a bit more. I'm falling into the rut that usually involves me loosening up and seeing to much post flop play. I don't know if it's boredom induced but it consistently happens when I playing one form of poker exclusively. I'm toying with some RAZZ play on occasion to see if I can mix it up. I might also look into Omaha. We'll see.

Anyway here are the pretty charts and graphs.

Ran: 207
ROI: 27.9%
ITM: 45.4%
Profit: $693.90

The ROI/ITM chart really shows the drop off. My 10% drop off in ITM has resulted in a 30% drop in ROI.

The finish distribution is still very acceptable.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hostess Musical Chairs

Shanna HiattCourtney FrielSabina GadeckiLayla Kayleigh

Much in the same way Chris Moneymaker fueled the online poker explosion, the World Poker Tour fueled the TV poker scene. Aside from the table action and entertaining commentary the primary reason to watch this program was Shanna Hiatt. Her girl next door looks and charming demeanor won the lustful hearts of many youthful (and dirty old) viewers. It also didn't hurt that Shanna was a former Playboy model with photos easily accessible on the internet. Unfortunately the end of season three also brought the end of Shanna's rein on the WPT.

Cue Courtney Friel. With big shoes to fill Courtney never quite managed to fit in. She was a stiff interviewer and always looked like she was trying too hard. The players as well as the viewers never warmed up to her and after only one season she was gone.

Hopes were high when Sabina Gadecki stepped in for the fifth season. Bringing back the girl next door charm and free spirit she hasn't had enough airtime yet for the fans to make a judgement. Conversely the players had a full season with her and many, if not all, really liked her.

The WPT apparently did not and have replaced her with yet another hostess. Layla Kayleigh brings some television experience to the table via her stints on the G4 network. With knockout looks and a british accent the fanboys should be aplenty. Time will tell if she fits in but I'm thinking she won't. Early interviews seem to point to this just being a stepping stone she can use for exposure. Also having seen her on G4 in the past she has a tendency to let her bitchy side through on occasion.

I don't believe the music has stopped playing so look for a new hostess next year as the game continues.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So You Had A Bad Day

Let's see... 29 SNG's played, 26 Out of the money, 18 in a row without a cash.

I now have a new single worst day ever.

At first I thought I was playing bad, then I thought I was getting sucked out on. I turned to Poker Tracker for the answer and loaded up the 18 consecutive losses. Nine losses were a result of me being behind when the money went in. Two were lost coin flips. Seven were losses where I was at least at 70% favorite.

Lost the ones I should have, couldn't call a coin flip, and lost the ones where I was a heavy favorite.

Bad day indeed.

I've gone from a 30% ROI at the $24 level after 69 tournaments, to a -4.1% ROI after 111 tournaments. I'm not going to bother with the graphs like I usually do because it's just to depressing.

For the immediate future I'm going to step down to the $12 SNG's until I can right the ship.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What Have You Learned

There are a few things you learn about poker from playing a decent amount of SNG's:

1) How to take a beat - Since SNG's are primarily a preflop game you really begin to develop a deep understanding of hand probabilities. Everyone who studies the game knows that there are few preflop dominant hands and nothing emphasizes this more than SNG's. The beats can really seem sick sometimes but if you can't handle them, you won't be a long term winner.

2) There is great value in mid range connectors - This relates back to number one. Do to the preflop nature of the game you will often be seeing all five cards. With this knowledge drawing hands gain value since you cannot be "bet" off your hand on later streets. This has also led to the opening up of my MTT game. Almost every tourney I play now (which hasn't been that many lately) I'm able to effectively trap my opponents and gain a decent chip stack early. This leads to the security needed to play more flops in the mid to late stages.

3) Aggression matters - Although aggression matters in all forms of poker, the SNG is aggression taken to the next level. I would never dream of limping into a pot in a SNG. Fold equity becomes paramount in the later stages and that fact must be exploited at every opportunity.

4) Being a Donkey is a good thing - Ok, hear me out. I don't mean that actually "being" a donkey is a good thing. I mean that if your opponents are incapable of understanding your play and often "call" you a donkey, then that's a good thing. To go along with this... never explain your actions to an opponent. You may have a completely valid reason for playing the way you did, but if his notes on you simply say "donkey", you have an advantage.

These things are paramount to success. Without the knowledge to wield them properly you simply cannot survive the SNG jungle.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

We Actually Got Along

What an incredibly nice weekend trip with the family. In fact we were having such a good time we extended the trip a day. Mount Rushmore was nice but I'd have to say I liked the Crazy Horse exhibits better.

Anyway I have a few things to cover here today. First some poker, then I've been "tagged" with that 7 things you didn't know deal.

Poker: A few days off is exactly what I needed. Since getting back I've moved up to the $24 turbos and I've been doing pretty well. When I manage to hit 100 of them I'll post the usual stats.

Tag: Slimeface tagged me and I've decided to actually put some thought into these seven items people probably don't know about me. I try not to post too much personal stuff on here since it's supposed to be a poker blog but here we go. (oh and this could be kinda long winded in spots)

1. When I was younger I was considered to be a talented singer. In the summer of 1986 (the summer after my high school graduation) I toured with a group called America's Youth In Concert. This is an annual tour group that travels across Europe performing concerts. Sadly for me 1986 was also the year that Muamar Quadafi was threatening all Americans traveling outside the US. As a result we toured the east coast and Canada. It did afford me the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall and at the 100 year anniversary of the Statue Of Liberty at Ellis Island.

I recieved music scholarship offers from several schools but eventually decided to attend the University Of Wyoming with my friends. While in college we performed Carmina Burana at Lincoln Center. I was also a founding member of the Centennial Singers. After college I never performed again. I think my Dad was always disappointed about that.

2. I once helped a guy who had been shot. After leaving home for college my parents moved to Denver, Co.. So I could havespending money my Dad began delivering the Rocky Mountain News in the mornings. When I got home for Christmas break I took over the route. To deliver the papers I would recline my passenger seat all the way, stack the papers on it, and then stop in front of the houses and chuck the papers from my car.

One morning I saw someone sitting on a porch and they began stumbling to my car when I stopped to throw the paper. I assumed the guy was drunk and had locked himself out of his house. I rolled down the passenger window to ask if he needed help and he immediately opened my door and collapsed into the seat. He told me he had been shot and asked me to take him to the hospital. Problem was I didn't live there and had no idea where a hospital was. The guy also reeked and kept punching the roof of my car from the reclined seat. He also kept calling me "Curly" for some unknown reason. If I had curly hair or was even bald it would make sense, but I had long straight hair at the time.

Not having a clue where I was going I just went to the first major street and started flying down the road looking for a cop. The whole time the guys screaming, "Help me Curly!", and bleeding all over the papers. I eventually blew by a cop traveling in the opposite direction. I was going about 40MPH over the speed limit and the cop didn't even hit his brakes and try to pursue me. I had to turn around and chase him down. When the cop finally stopped I got out and ran to him. He looked over to my car and since the passenger seat was reclined he didn't see anyone. Eventually the guy punched the roof again and the cop saw his arm. He called for backup and waited for them to arrive before getting out of his car.

It turns out the guy had been shot five times by his girlfriend and had wandered for about two miles banging on doors trying to get someone to help him. After the Ambulance took him away I drove the police to the house where I found him. The woman in the house told the police someone was banging on the door. When she looked out she saw two men push a guy into a sedan and drive away... So much for credible eye witness reports.

Afterwards I salvaged all the non bloody papers and finished the route.

3. I was kicked out of college after the first year. During my first semester I pledged to Sigma Nu fraternity and quickly discovered alcohol, partying, and smoking. Since I have an addictive personality this took over my life and I quit attending all but two of my music classes after about a month. At the end of the semester I had only passed four classes. These were my two music classes as well as Macro Economics and Political Science. I had the option to make the final count for 100% of my grade in the later two classes so that's how I passed them. (yeah, I'm that smart)

I began the second semester on academic probation. This didn't matter to me though because I had now discovered drugs. Not hardcore drugs but weed and mushrooms mostly. These began to consume my life and during the second semester I only passed my two music classes.

I was summarily booted from college and pissed away all of my opportunities. Two years later I attended a business trade school specializing in computer courses. I graduated that with a 4.0. Since then I haven't done any drugs and I don't drink but maybe twice a year at social functions. I also quit smoking in 1999 for the birth of my daughter.

4. I tried cocaine once. I liked it so much I knew I could never do it again.

5. I don't like people. Most of this stems from the fact that I am now an introvert. This flies in the face of my youth as I was very outgoing and personable. I believe it all stems from the fact that after my first marriage ended I traveled for about a year with the company I work for. Most of this time was spent in South America and Spain. Since I don't speak Spanish, when I wasn't working (with an interpreter) I would be sightseeing and wandering alone. I spent so much time alone and in hotel rooms that even now I believe as long as I had my laptop and internet access I could live alone on a deserted island and be perfectly happy.

6. I am now on my second marriage and have three wonderful children. If I was ever to get divorced again I would never remarry. (see post above).

7. My current wife thought I was gay when she met me. Since I don't go out of my way to talk to people my wife had to approach me to ask me out (she thought I could be her safe gay guy friend). Let me explain: I lived in a town house community at the time and my roommate was also a coworker. He was also somewhat of an introvert and neither of us talked to our neighbors or got to know anyone. Everyone would just see two guys who were always fairly well dressed who were in their early thirties living together. They just assumed we were gay. Had they ever seen the inside of the town house they would have seen the carnage of a typical bachelor pad, but of course no one ever did.

My son from my first marriage lives with me during the summer and my wife was the lifeguard at the complex pool. She would see us at the pool together all the time and since everyone told her I was gay she just believed it. She invited my son and I to go the the county fair with her and her son. Two weeks later I was practically living at her place and the rest is history.

I guess that about does it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Other Shoe

Have you ever known things were going so well that something bad just had to happen?

It's really inevitable. The good side of variance leaves you wondering when things will finally swing to the bad side. I've often felt this way, but not on the magnitude that I've felt it lately. I've wondered about it so much that I've been very tentative about playing. I have this fear that I'll go on this horrible run and lose all the scratch I've built up over the last few weeks. It's resulted in my pushing some edges I just shouldn't be pushing.

I'm down. Not a whole lot mind you. I've been burning about $50 a day so I'm not bleeding out, just steadily losing fluid. My mindset is kinda screwed right now. Fortunately the family is taking a weekend trip to Mt. Rushmore (paid for with poker winnings) so I'll have 3 days of no poker play. That should help clear things up and I can start fresh next week.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Statistical Anomoly

Even after mentioning my incredible run it has continued. Deep down I know I'm running on the very high end of variance but damn I hope it last forever.

With the completion of my first 100 $12 Turbo SNG's I present the stats:

Ran: 100
ROI: 57.6%
ITM: 56.0%
Profit: $690.90

Told you I was running well. That works out to $36.17 an hour, by comparison I should really be at around $12 an hour based on my performance at the $6.50 SNG's.

It's not all blind luck and winning coin flips. I've really felt that I've been on top of knowing when to switch gears. I've adapted very well to my tables lately and that has really been a boost to the confidence level. Confidence fuels ones innate abilities and that's always a good thing.

The Screenshots tell the tale.