Monday, March 31, 2008


March Round-Up

I should take more weeks off. In fact I could take every week off and just play Sundays. You could do worse. Shipped 3rd in the Stars $100 rebuy last night (the giant Sunday version) for $21K, which is pretty much my profit for the month. Not bad after being knocked down to 7K at 2500-5K/500, and allin with KK v AA before rivering the case King. The short break certainly helped me negotiate an 8-hour session, a stomach-ache due to eating too many bananas [1] and the attentions of the arch-bok Titmus in the latter stages. Official figures for the month are $23.4K in, $44.7K out, $21.3K profit. Only 102 tournaments this month, which may be more the level in future. Sunday + 2 weekdays per week should be a good balance.

What I Learned This Month

I think, to just make the obvious play a bit more often. I had maybe gone too far towards calling, whether to trap pre-flop, to mix up my play or to control the size of the pot, when there are situations where you should throw all that in the bin and just raise because you have the best hand. I've also been playing around with some PLO and PLO8 during my "week off" and playing a different game always helps you to see certain things in a different way, vague as that sounds.

Elsewhere the field looks more or less complete for the World Poker Open IV (lol), Party have put some odds up here (click on Poker). My 40-1 looks reasonable, but whoever made this book has perhaps over-reacted to Neil's Irish Open win. Obv Neil is a top man and a great player but not even God himself, with Patrik Antonius telling him what to do, should be 16-1 in this format :-).

Finally a little fun fact, did you know that last night's $1K Million on Stars had basically the same prize pool ($1.87 million) as the recent WPT Reno main event !

[1] Real bananas, not 2+2 bananas

Update : 100 rebuy hand playback. Hands of moderate interest are 166, 180, 316-321, 398, 430 and the bustout hand 503 (by far the worst hand I played). As you can see though, mostly it's just playing solid and winning allins. It's funny how you play solid at the low levels, trickier in the middle, but then IMO back to solid again in the highest games because a) people are making a lot more moves and b) people assume that you are too.

hand 7: seriously fold? or were you multitabling and didnt realise?
Hi Andy,

Hand 151 you raise AT in the hijack and take the blinds.
Hand 152 you fold AT.

a) Hand 152: the BB has twice your stack, hand 151 matching stacks
b) Hand 152: One seat earlier to act
c) Hand 152: You had just taken the previous hand unopposed

Is it a combination of a,b,c? Does one outway the others? Or did you have a read on the blinds?

Thanks for all the insights
Hi guys,

7 is close and I wouldn't blame anyone for calling. But I think that with two allins the chance of running into an overpair is high enough to make this foldable. Personally I keep getting shown 99 in this spot.

152 is a combination of c) and b). 151 itself is a bit thin with both blinds having good resteal stacks. I think a) actually makes a steal better, because now the big blind has an inefficient resteal stack (his 40BB shove on the button's min-raise in the actual hand is gross).

You are officially a steamer.

20-1 with partybets now.

So someone had a tenner on you :)
Well I had $50 myself after I saw the draw :, click on "World Poker Open draw revealed" or indeed Jesse May's preview.

No disrespect to my opponents but there were 5 or 6 players I preferred to avoid, and I did.

Whether my $50 is enough for them to halve my odds or whether there was a sustained run by readers of this blog I don't know :-)

To take up the hands you highlighted...

Is 166 interesting because the big blind butchers the hand? I really think he should have made it tough for you on the flop.

180: he fails to bet trips until they can be beat by a one card straight or a flush. He had both the flop and the turn to test you, and should have done so. Nothing wrong with what you do but doesn't he butcher it?

316 - 321 is a case study of getting back into the running after losing a race. You hit a nice run of hands but that was spot on. It feels good when it comes out like that.

398 is an excellent steal. Could you comment on why it was a good spot to do so? I think that I miss out badly on these positions.

430. I would be tempted to raise on the flop or, maybe, lead on the turn. Is there a reason why you played it very passively. Is there a danger that you get forced out on the river by someone who thinks you've missed?

Thanks for any thoughts.
166, basically. Butchers might be a bit strong but I'm surprised he called the river shove with K no kicker after the worst card in the deck for him came off.

180, yes he does, gross :-). In fact the river raise is the worst play of all.

316-321, it is nice when it works. Note how the limp in the first hand helps to knock the SB out.

398 was just a feel play. He was opening a ton and I had a big enough stack to just 3-bet with any two at the next opportunity.

430 I was looking for a check-raise on the turn. Cr-ing on flop or betting turn gets an awkward amount of my stack in the pot if I miss the next card. When he checks back on the turn, I think it's clear to check-call the river as long as he doesn't bet huge.

Thanks for the questions,

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