Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Worst play EVAR!!!111

Before Hoyazo has a chance to mention it in his blog, I will make it public here and now: I made a stupendously idiotic play to bust out of the WWdN tourney tonight.

The tournament had just started, and we had played about eight hands; blinds were still 10/20. In MP I pick up AQo. UTG, hoyazo calls 20, as does VTepes. ISS Spock raises it to 85; I pop it to 150. Hoy calls; everyone else folds. Well, at least I am heads-up with my overcards.

Flop: 3s-Qs-4s. I get TPTK, but there are three spades. Hoy checks, so I think my pair is good and I bet 220. He raises me to 440. I should have smelled a rat here, but I called. I was probably thinking that he was trying to push me off the hand.

Turn: 7h. Hoy bets 300. I only have 640 left, and the pot is about 1,900. Hoping to get him to fold, I push, and he calls with AKs. He flopped the nut flush and trapped me but good. The river is a blank and IGHN in 59th place out of 60. I'm fairly sure that is my worst showing in a WWdN ever. I really have no justification for my play there. It was way too early in the game to play TPTK so hard with a flush draw on the flop. Oh well, I guess I need to play like a donkey once in a while if only to keep me honest.

I went on to play a FullTilt 5-table $1.25 SNG, where I finished 11th. I also played some more Stud 8 on PokerStars but had a bad run tonight. I guess Week 13 is turning out not to be so lucky after all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Week 13 - gotta be a lucky one

Last week, you may recall, Our Hero had qualified for the Monthly Venue Championship at his local Amateur Poker League location. Things went well for him through the tournament, leading to a final table appearance. Unfortunately, the cards did not fall his way once the blinds jumped up to the nose-bleed levels, and he finished in third place. But good decisions were made the great majority of the time, with donkey play (from Our Hero, anyway) seldom manifesting.

I feel good about the third place finish, but these MVCs only mean anything for the first place winner, who goes on to a regional championship tourney later in the year. Maybe I should have played a bit more aggressively, to aim for the top rather than final table or top five or whatever. Doing so will require an adjustment to my game, which I will be working on. Another aspect of the APL experience I will be working on is finding another venue where I can play that is less smoke-filled. I always come home from these games stinking of cigarette smoke, and last week seemed especially bad, plus my lungs weren't feeling so great either. I think I have found another place not too far from here, whose website mentions non-smoking, so I plan to try them this week or next.

Meanwhile, I haven't played much on line over the past week. I logged another 5-table $1.25 SNG at FullTilt but didn't cash. I chipped up early but went card dead for a while. When my M got to about 4, I pushed with A7 on an A-x-x flop, and a motormouth chump called me - with A6. A six on the river busted me out. This dork had been criticizing everyone's play and boasting about his prowess. After I busted, I typed "nice suckout" in the chat box before I left.

I posted a nice profit in Stud 8 last night, finishing $2.25 ahead at the $0.10 - 0.20 table. It's amazing how many people will chase hands to fifth and sixth street, or to the end. I didn't even scoop that many pots, but my half-pots were nice because of the dead money from the chasers.

I need to give a nod to Maudie at PokerWorks, who was kind enough to mention this blog on hers over there. If you found this site through hers, welcome. If you haven't read Maudie's blog there or her other blog, Poker Perspectives, you really should surf on over. Her writing is always fun and informative, and I follow her regularly. Her blogs, that is, not her personally. You know what I mean.

Oh yes, I have made my reservations and am set for the trip to Las Vegas in August for the Trek con and some poker playing. Who else is going?

Monday, March 19, 2007

On a roll

Last night I played in another 5-table $1.25 NLHE SNG at FullTilt, and managed to win it. I got lucky several times to stay alive, including a couple of river suckouts. I came back from the short stack to win, which alway feels good. Best of all, I feel like I made mostly good decisions.

I've also been playing a fair amount of $0.04 - 0.08 Stud 8 cash games on PokerStars. There is some donkey play in that game, and playing tight tends to pay off in the long run. Although I have chased a few hands that I shouldn't have, I am in the black for my run at Stud 8 over the past few weeks. I think I will keep it in my playing mix to try to improve at it even more. I also have been reading the Stud High-Low Split chapter in Super System, which was written by David Sklansky. HIs writing style is a bit challenging, but there is a lot of very useful stuff there and I am trying to absorb it.

I have been thinking about going to Las Vegas to attend the WPBT Summer Classic gathering in June. I have also been thinking about attending the huge Star Trek convention in Vegas in August. I can't afford to do both, and I have been leaning towards going for the WPBT event because (a) I have not been to one of those yet, and (b) it takes place during the early stages of the WSOP, which would be cool to see.

However, my friend Wil Wheaton announced that he will be a guest at the Trek convention, and it looks like I will be making that trip instead. I have been to several Trek conventions over the years, but never the "big one" in Vegas. With Wil being there, and his offer to try to organize a poker tournament if enough people show an interest, plus everything else that the con and the city have to offer, I have decided to wait until another time to try for a blogger gathering. I'm not much of a poker blogger anyway, or a drinker or hard partier, so I might not fit in with that crowd very well anyway. But I still will consider going to a WPBT shindig in the future.

The con should be a lot of fun, and I expect to get some poker playing in, whether Wil is able to put together a tourney or not. Now I have to work on sharpening my skills, and my bat'leth.

Oh yeah - I am playing in the APL Monthly Venue Championship tourney tomorrow night. I probably should be studying or practicing instead of writing this, so I can do my best in the game. Guess I'd better sign off.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bonus clearing hurdles are awfully high

I got an e-mail today from FullTilt offering me a "generous" bonus of $50 if I meet the conditions for it. I think I am going to have a hard time doing so.

After activating my bonus, I have 14 days to clear it. That isn't much time for someone like me who only plays a few days a week.

I can earn $0.06 of my bonus for every FullTilt Point I earn. Wow, six whole cents per point! So what does it take to earn a point? According to their webpage about FTPs, you earn one point for every dollar in rake that is dropped, or 7 points for every $1.00 in tournament fees that you pay.

After doing some quick calculations, I find that I would have to play in raked hands that drop $833.33 to earn enough points to clear my $50.00 bonus, or pay $119.05 in tourney fees. All in just 14 days! Considering that I have less than $20.00 in my FT account right now (which surely the FT staff must know), I can't see how I can give them enough action to earn anywhere near the entire bonus. Just to earn $5 in bonus, I would have to pay over half my bankroll in tourney fees, and hope that I cashed enough times to break even so the bonus would give me a profit.

Of course, if I make a deposit for a substantial sum, I could play for higher stakes and earn points faster. But I am not about to do that considering the hassles involved in depositing and withdrawing money from poker sites these days, not to mention that I don't feel comfortable playing much higher than I do now and don't have time to play often enough to get in sufficient games to rack up the points in 14 days.

Basically this bonus, like many I have seen offered, is worthless to a low stakes recreational player like me. It doesn't seem like FullTilt cares very much about my business if the bonus they offer me is virtually impossible for me to achieve. It might just drive me to look elsewhere for more attractive bonus programs. Surely that can't be what they want. What are they thinking?