Friday, September 29, 2006


Back To My Roots

At the risk of getting it loudly, it's been another good month. Even better than August, in fact. After a fair amount of moving round the houses in terms of game selection I am settling back down to my first love - MTTs. What I have finally figured out is that the best game for me is one where I'm playing to win all the chips, but the majority of the field isn't. In a super or a Sit-and-Go, I can't play to win all the chips. In a single table winner take all (like the WCOOP double shootouts I have been dabbling in), sure I can play to win all the chips, the problem is, so is everyone else (who isn't a complete idiot).

It's the MTTs where throwing survival to the wind doesn't cost me very much (if anything at all), while a good proportion of the field are trying to survive, providing me with a lot of vital fold equity. I have also stepped up a level, which has helped. This is partially because of something Bushy said to me in Vegas. He said that I should have been playing higher [than $225 single tables] because as you move up, the players just aren't that much better. I now have little doubt that this applies to online tournaments too. Some of the players on Party and Pokerroom, in the $100 tournaments, I just don't know who is giving these people $100 to play poker with. Because they surely can't be winning it. It's incredible.

Maybe I'm being overly harsh, because there are so many people around who are completely oblivious to two key tournament concepts. 1) Putting your opponent on a range of hands instead of just pulling one out of the air and 2) manipulating the betting (especially pre-flop) so that you have the fold equity and not your opponent. Anyway, I can mention my biggest ever win on Pokerstars, in 7 years, because it's a bit pathetic - $4000 in a $30 rebuy. Hooray ! Hopefully I can improve that soon, because the play in the $50 and even $100 rebuy comps is very soft.

In other news, I was reading a tournament report the other day which featured a super-satellite situation around the bubble where player A moves in and player B (the hero) goes into a dwell-up with Aces. B tells A he has Aces, and A responds that he has Aces too (in fact he had Queens). I'm thinking, can they do that ? Surely they can't talk about their hands to inhibit action, especially not in a super ! But on further consideration I thought "who gives a flying toss". You can do what you like in live supers because it's never going to affect me. If you ever see me playing a live super again you have my full permission, no, instruction, to apply a double-handed chop to the back of my neck and shout "BOOOOM Headshot !" (as is the vogue online) because I never ever want to play one again.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Breakneck Live Tournament Action

Time for an exhaustive debriefing session on yesterday's £300 Freezeout in the Vic. Actually no, let's not, let's fast forward through the boring bits. I wanked off half my chips, then trebled up with QQ (vs KJ and KT nhs sirs esp the KT overcall). Then I doubled up with AQ v A7 in the blinds.

At this point I played the one moderately interesting hand of the evening, but even that isn't interesting enough to detail, as I think I had a clear call, although some might have agonised over it. In the event Tim Flan-diddly-anders was all in on the flop with his 15-way draw against my second pair [1], and he made it. I floated around 5K for about an hour, finally with blinds 300-600/50 moved in with A4, one caller, thought "at least I have 3 outs" and then he turned over AA. The End. Thrill an hour stuff I'm sure you'll agree.

All in all it wasn't too tortuous ; the players weren't as slow or as annoying as I was expecting. I only got into one argument through trying to make people put their antes in quicker, and smoothed it over fairly easily. I suppose I could manage one of these a month, with careful game selection.

[1] He reckoned after the hand he was a 64% favourite. YBA, try 55%. Good job his wife is getting the cake that's all I can say :-)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


No Secrets, No Amateur

You've probably realised by now that it's not really worth checking this blog on a daily basis. Don't worry (or celebrate), the lack of activity is not because I'm doing my bollocks. On the contrary, it's going very well so far, and one of the reasons I haven't posted is fear of the dreaded bloggers' curse (as soon as you blog about how well a game is going, it goes pear-shaped).

As a man of science though that's only a small part of it. The real reason is that I'm not doing anything special or new. I have evolved a style that I'm very comfortable with online. In many ways it's very simple. Almost all the components are in this blog here and there, you just have to put them together and play in the right games. I have been splitting my time between sit and goes (Party), speed tournaments (Tribeca) and conventional tournaments (mostly Pokerstars and Tribeca, with best results in rebuy tournaments). If one area is going well I'll play more in that area, and if I hit a cold streak I'll switch to another. This is purely for psychological reasons - it is completely fruitless to switch games just to even out the swings, it doesn't work like that.

Now I'm not working, it's interesting that I seem to be almost completely incapable of playing after about 9pm, even if I've had a tactical snooze in the afternoon. This is particularly bad news in tournaments where you can't just quit. There are a couple of reasons that I can think of, but in any case, there's little I can do about it short of staying up till 2 am every morning, which would frankly be a form of torture. I'd quite like to spin up the £300 (Wednesday) or the £500 (Sunday) at the Vic this week, especially as both kick off at 4pm, but my lack of mental stamina over long sessions is a worry. That and my complete lack of confidence in live tournaments, I'm on such an extended cooler in them. In terms of number of tournaments it's not an unusual streak, but in terms of calendar time we're talking 2 or 3 years (if not 5 since a significant result). I might just try the £300 as an experiment and see how it goes. It would be nice to catch up with people if nothing else.

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