September 2006
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Then three come along at once..

I often worry when I’m multi-tabling and all of a sudden there’s a rush of hands that I want to stop and take a minute to think about whether I played them right. You can be folding away for ages then suddenly three big hands come along at once, just like these. Long entry, bear with me.

Hand 1:

PokerRoom 2/4 Hold’em (10 handed) Hand History Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)
Preflop: Hero is MP3 with Jh, Js.
1 fold, UTG+1 calls, 2 folds, MP2 calls, Hero raises, 3 folds, BB calls, UTG+1 calls, MP2 calls.
Flop: (8.50 SB) 3h, 6s, 5c (4 players)
BB bets, UTG+1 calls, MP2 raises, Hero 3-bets, BB folds, UTG+1 calls, MP2 calls.
Turn: (9.25 BB) Qh (3 players)
UTG+1 checks, MP2 checks, Hero bets, UTG+1 calls, MP2 folds.
River: (11.25 BB) 2h (2 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero checks.
UTG+1 has 8d 9d (high card, queen).
Hero has Jh Js (one pair, jacks).
Outcome: Hero wins 11.25 BB.

So should I put in one more bet on the river here? Clearly it’s not going to get called by the busted gutshot draw but should I be betting here for value? The 2h completes just about every sensible draw going and UTG+1 has not shown any aggression at any point, he’s just calling along looking like he needs another card to be happy. Plus, I still only have one pair, smaller than the highest card on board. It’s hard to figure a Q is out there, but you never know. I didn’t see any value betting here, but I could only think about it for a split second whilst other tables were flashing at me. I still think I like the check.

Hand 2:

PokerRoom 2/4 Hold’em (10 handed) Hand History Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)
Preflop: Hero is UTG+1 with 4h, Ah. CO posts a blind of $2.
1 fold, Hero calls, UTG+2 calls, 1 fold, MP2 calls, 1 fold, CO (poster) checks, 1 fold, SB completes, BB checks.
Flop: (6 SB) 2h, 8h, Ts (6 players)
SB checks, BB bets, Hero calls, UTG+2 calls, MP2 calls, CO folds, SB calls.
Turn: (5.50 BB) 9d (5 players)
SB checks, BB bets, Hero calls, UTG+2 calls, MP2 raises, SB 3-bets, BB folds, Hero calls, UTG+2 folds, MP2 caps, SB calls, Hero calls.
River: (19.50 BB) 6s (3 players)
SB bets, Hero folds, MP2 raises, SB 3-bets, MP2 caps, SB calls.
SB has Jh Qc (straight, queen high).
MP2 has Js Qs (straight, queen high).
Outcome: MP2 wins 13.75 BB. SB wins 13.75 BB.

All is good until the turn. I decide to call the flop rather than raise with 5 players in, hoping to make my draw and then get paid off by at least one player. My first turn call gives me 6.5-1 on a 4.5-1 flush draw. In all honesty I couldn’t think fast enough to work out whether the second call was good, so I hoped it would be profitable with implied odds, if not immediately. I was calling 2 big bets to win 13.5 – plenty for my draw still. If it’s capped behind me (which it was, and which I should expect to happen quite often in this spot) it becomes 3BB to win 17.5. OK that still sounds good. All in all on the turn I paid 4 BBs for a shot at a 19.5 BB pot, which was just enough to make the flush draw profitable. The call was OK, I just didn’t know it at the time!

Hand 3:

PokerRoom 2/4 Hold’em (10 handed) Hand History Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)
Preflop: Hero is BB with Jh, 3d.
8 folds, SB completes, Hero checks.
Flop: (2 SB) 2c, Qs, Js (2 players)
SB bets, BB raises, SB calls.
Turn: (3 BB) 9d (2 players)
SB checks, BB bets, SB calls.
River: (5 BB) 2d (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks.
SB has Qc Ts (two pair, queens and twos).
Hero has Jh 3d (two pair, jacks and twos).
Outcome: SB wins 5 BB.

I don’t really know what to make of this because my blind play sucks. Right now I think I played it OK, it’s just one of those horrible SB vs BB situations where it looks like you probably got lucky but didn’t. I could check the turn but the signs are that I’m probably good so betting is best. Then after he calls the flop raise and turn bet, I figure a river bet will only be called by a hand that beats me, and I probably can’t get a better hand to fold. If only they let you chop the blinds…

Go Steelers!

I am such a big shot!

A week flies by

Four days since my last blog post.  If anyone actually read this they might have missed me…

I don’t know the result of the Pittsburgh game yet so please don’t tell me.  It’s waiting for me on Sky+ and I’ve seen about half of the first quarter.  Nobody has scored yet.  However I did get an email from Mansion – as yet unopened – with the subject "Your MANSION NFL Winnings".  Which kind of implies that the Steelers nailed it.  I’m trying to pretend that it could still go either way.  I realy don’t like sportsbooks that send you an email when you win and give the game away, and considering they’re risking $5.5m on this promotion (it was capped at 5000 bets x $1100 refund) they might consider asking their customers in a timezone where the game starts at 2am if they’d actually like to watch the game before they see the result.

I’ve been in London for a couple of days this week.  Played Wednesday night at Gutshot (£30 + 1 rebuy) and I got lucky at the right times and made it to the final table and finished 7th for £155.  I played this tournament once before and don’t remember it being quite so shooty, but it was a complete gamble.  With 25 left it looked like I was one of the top stacks with 24k but blinds of 1k/2k meant this was almost irrelevant.  Twelve big blinds was the most I’d had for about 2 hours, and I’d kept up with the pack pretty well.  I’d got to that giddy height after raising from the button with QQ.  The big blind called and we both checked the AQx flop.  He couldn’t resist moving in on the turn with king high to try and push me off my supposed button steal.  I lost with JJ against AK, calling all in for 9000 more on top of my big blind of 4000.  I thought for a moment about playing chicken, and waiting for two short stacks forced all in before the blinds came round to me again to get eliminated to try to lock in another £50, but did the right thing in the end.

Realised I can’t play the EPT Dublin satellite tomorrow so I’ve taken the W$ and will try again next week, or maybe look at a WCOOP event.  We’re going to see some friends who we haven’t seen since before they had their baby.  Years ago.  Probably turn up and find them with a teenager.

Put a dime on it

The award for best sports betting promotion ever goes to Mansion, who have set up this little gem for the start of the NFL season.

Place a bet of $1100 on Pittsburgh to beat Miami on Thursday and they will refund your stake if you don’t win.

You can’t bet less than $1100, and if you bet any more the maximum refund is still $1100.  And you have to back the Steelers.  But if you can bankroll this bet a, it has a huge risk free return.  The bet you have to make is a point spread handicap at -110, therefore paying $1000 for the $1100 wager.  That’s a free shot at a grand.  Or, as I’ve done, you can hedge it (as long as you use a different site) and lock in nearly $500 profit guaranteed!

The point spread was actually zero when I placed the bet, so I backed PIT with $1100 to win $1000 and then hedged betting MIA using their promotional -107 line at CanBet, risking $535 to win $500.  Except really there’s no risk:

If PIT win, I win $1000 and lose $535, net profit $465.

If MIA win, I win $500 but do not lose on the other bet.

So I guess I’ll be cheering for Miami on Thursday, to try to win the extra $35.  That’s about as much as I’d normally put on a game…!

Party Poker Bonus – $1/$2 Limit Hold’em

Interesting (for me, anyway) to see how playing a 1000 hand bonus on Party Poker compares at $1/$2 to my last bonus which I played on $25NL.

Hands played:  1482 (for 1000 raked hands)
Hours played:  20.7 (approx 10 hours, playing 2 or 3 tables)
Rake paid:     $57.50
Amount won:    $59.81 (2.02 BB per 100 hands)
Win rate:      $5.98/hr
Bonus awarded: $100
Rate w/ bonus: $15.98/hr

I only played 2 or 3 tables at a time for this bonus, as I was doing other things whilst I cleared the bonus – mostly just working through a huge backlog of emails that had built up whilst I was away.  So my hourly rate is down, but the overall win rate is not bad for this level.  Given that I got creamed at $1/$2 on Party the last time I tried to do a whole bonus, I’m pretty pleased.

I paid almost twice as much rake as last time, but won more overall and Party still lost over $40 on this bonus!

Here’s the rest, stat lovers:

Vol. Put $ In Pot:       15.52%
Pre-flop Raise:           8.77%
Post-flop Aggression:     3.69
Won $ When Saw Flop:     38.63%
Went to Showdown:        26.35%
Won $ At Showdown:       63.01%
Folded SB to Steal:     100.00%
Folded BB to Steal:      44.44%
Attempt to Steal Blinds: 32.38%

I need to look into the significance of some of these again.  I’m very happy with my aggression (grrrr), but from what I recall winning 63% of showdowns is a little too high and could indicate that I’m folding too often to a river bet.  Might be defending too many big blinds too.  Gotta love them stats…

Not this time

Early bath for me in the EPT satellite – there were 240 players, making 12 seats and 2 cash prizes.  I got shafted with AK against AJ, all in preflop.  My table was playing very tight and the blinds were starting to matter much more than they should with 150 players remaining so I was happy to find a spot where I was fairly confident of being at least 50/50 to double up.  I didn’t make it, then never recovered with my remaining stack.

Little things that amuse…

As if the word (?) spork wasn’t funny enough… this gem is courtesy of Tesco.


Barcelona – the city not the planet

I have never been to Barcelona. I’m told it’s very pretty, and the dogs do have noses. Quite how much of the city I’d actually get to see is debateable, but I have been trying two separate routes to get there. If either is successful you can be sure you will hear about it!

First, jumped into an EPT qualifier on PokerStars, for $36+$3 and entry into the main satellite for every $475 up for grabs this felt similar to the $36 qualifiers for the Sunday Million, but about twice as hard. I wasn’t disappointed though, staying lucky when it mattered most and soaring into the final five to win a seat.

WPT, WSOP and EPT satellites on Stars can be cashed in for W$ rather than T$, so I know I’m not going to blow this on smaller tournaments as I might do with a T$215 seat. However you can spend W$ on WCOOP events, so I might bottle out of this and put it towards the $530 No Limit event in a couple of weeks time instead. I was thinking I’d play the satellite if there were more than two seats to win, and right now there’s nearly enough for three so I probably will do that on Saturday.

The other tournament I want to get into is the Ongame Poker Classic. A few weeks ago I won a $50 ticket on PokerRoom and planned to use it to get into the Stage 2 Qualifier but it wouldn’t let me register. Their reason for this, they told me, is that you can either win a ticket to the qualifier or buy one. Which still doesn’t really explain why I can’t use a ticket for the exact value for that tournament, but I’m going to have to find another way to get through this one, as it’s fast approaching.

As my $50 ticket was about to expire – just like all money does – I decided to play a satellite for the Sunday Big Deal $300+$20. This has a guaranteed prize pool of $80,000 so you’d expect about 300-400 players – not too intimidating compared to the other sites big sunday events with 3000+ entries. Never been in it before – but I am now! This satellite also went unnaturally well and I picked up a seat by finishing in the top 2 of 18 players. This is the stuff television poker dreams are made of – I’ve parlayed $7 into $50, and now into $320. Next stop could be tens of thousands!

Oh, and I hit a royal flush too. I was so not expecting it that I didn’t manage to scramble to the print screen key in time, but here’s the hand history:

$50+$4 (real money), hand #933,398,217
Qualifier to Big Deal Multi Table Tournament, 1 Sep 2006 12:13 AM

Seat 1: Hallertauer ($5,440 in chips)
Seat 3: dosc74 ($6,420 in chips)
Seat 7: lucky_donut [QC,JC] ($4,960 in chips)
Seat 8: walkyre ($5,060 in chips)
Seat 10: bretbret ($5,120 in chips)

bretbret posts blind ($100), Hallertauer posts blind ($200).

dosc74 folds, lucky_donut bets $500, walkyre folds, bretbret calls $400, Hallertauer folds.

FLOP [board cards AC,10C,9H ]
bretbret checks, lucky_donut bets $600, bretbret bets $2,000, lucky_donut bets $3,860 and is all-in, bretbret calls $2,460.

TURN [board cards AC,10C,9H,4H ]

RIVER [board cards AC,10C,9H,4H,KC ]

lucky_donut shows [ QC,JC ]
bretbret shows [ JS,AD ]
lucky_donut wins $10,120.

I had 15 outs (9 flush, 6 straight), so was a favourite against almost any hand with two cards to come. Nice as it is to see a royal flush, any king or any club would have done!