Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Morning

A few days have gone by since the last time I updated. I forget what I did on Thursday, but Friday was February 29th. PokerStars was running a promotion, since that day only comes around once a year. They would give you FPPs (Frequent Player Points) at double the rate as usual. I took this opportunity to try and play a higher volume of SNGs as usual. When I first started playing for a living, I would sometimes sit and play 9-12 one table sit n' goes at a time. This is a good, fast way to get FPPs, but it's almost like work, because it's so mechanical. So instead I just played a bunch of the $60 45 player SNGs, and some of the $27s as well. I was getting my ass kicked in the $60s, just really getting too short on chips in most of them, losing coinflips, whatever. Fortunately though, I managed to win one of the $27s which pays about $350. After all of the 45-man turbos, I was close to even, give or take a few dollars. Luckily I managed to do well in some of the other morning touraments.

At 5:15 AM there is a $5 rebuy tournament. I did well in that, but unfortunately bubbled the final table, finishing 12th for $100. At 6 AM there is a $33 MTT. It had only 164 entrants, and I finished 4th for over $400. I only remember a few things about that tournament. When we were getting down to the final table, six handed or so at each of the remaining two tables, I had a player at my table who I recognized, TheWombat. Usually when I recognize a player it means he is a solid player. The player to my immediate left was playing tight, and also did not have very many chips. I noticed that when TheWombat was one or two off the button, I was in the small blind, and the tight player was in the big blind, he would raise, and everyone would fold. I figured that he also noticed how tight the player to my left was playing, and was stealing. So I waited for the perfect spot to resteal. With blinds at 500-1000, TheWombat had about 22,000 in chips, I had about 16,000, and the big blind had maybe 11,000 or so. He raised to 3,000, and I pushed all in with 7c 4c. He folded rather quickly, and I showed my hand. Then I typed in the chat box that I'm not an idiot and I notice the same things he does, alluding to the tight player in the big blind, who he was robbing all day. I did all of this so that hopefully he would slow down, and I could steal from the tight player.

It's important to wait until the stacks are perfect when making a resteal. You can't get so short, that you don't have enough chips to force the player off his hand, but you don't want to have so many chips that it's not worth it. 15 big blinds is the perfect re-stealing stack. Let's use the hand from my tournament as an example. 500 (SB) + 1000 (BB) + 600 (100 ante from six players) + 3000 (the original raise) = 4100. With 15,500 in my stack after posting my blind, winning this pot preflop would increase my stack by over 25%. My raise is enough to get him off a mediocre hand because once I make the raise, the pot will be 19,600. It would be 12,000 for TheWombat to call. Getting 19.6 to 12 on his money is not quite the right price. If you are getting better than 2 to 1, you have to call with any two cards, because even 23 offsuit is only a 2 to 1 underdog against AK. Therefore, this 16 big blind stack is about the lowest I'll allow myself to get when making a complete resteal.

Let's say that both of us had 25,000 or so, instead of the stack sizes I indicate earlier. If I made this same all-in resteal, I would only be increasing my stack by about 16%, meaning it would have to work better than 5/6 times to be profitable. If I only had 9,000, it would be 6,000 for TheWombat to call, and the pot would be around 13,600, giving him over 2 to 1 to make the call, and he certainly would not fold. Learning how to play each stack size is very important in online poker, since you will usually have 8-30 big blinds in all online tournaments.

Furthermore, restealing is a very underrated way to pad your stack. Most people make open raises from late position trying to just steal the blinds and antes. In order for this to be merely break even, you would have to be successful exactly one per orbit. When restealing, you only have to be successful once every 2 1/2 to 3 orbits, depending on the raise amounts. Also, you win 2 1/2 to 3 times as many chips when you are successful. Thus, re-raising all-in, (with a good hand, or sometimes without one) has become the more prominent way to steal in my game, as opposed to open raising.

I came into that final table eighth of nine. My patient play, and good fortune in some coin-flip situations allowed me to get some chips. By the time we got down to the final four, I was short stacked again. I pushed all in for ten big blinds on the button with K 4 suited. The small blind called with AA and I was out.

Saturday was kind of a bad day. I lost maybe $400 or so. I went really deep in the $11 re-buy finishing 80th or so out of 2300. I would have gone much deeper, possibly to the final table, but I got donked really bad for a 300k + pot with blinds at 3000-6000. If I won that pot I would have been one of the chip leaders, but you have to let the donks win once in awhile, to keep them coming back. I did manage to regain about half of my losses though by getting second in a $27 45 player turbo SNG on Sunday morning.

Yesterday was Sunday, I got up around 7 AM and watched the SNL from the night before. Hillary Clinton made a cameo which I thought was really funny. The past two weeks, which have been the first episodes since the writer's strike have both opened with skits about how Obama is amazing and how everyone at CNN and MSNBC hates Hillary. She was a good sport about it, and she got to say "Live from New York, It's Saturday night!" Obama did the same thing in October in the last episode before the writer's strike.

After that I went to the gym for a quick jog on the treadmill. When I got home I couldn't find my wallet. I knew it was in my sweatshirt pocket when I left, which I had taken off and left on the floor next to the treadmill. I called the gym to see if it had fallen out on the floor, and sure enough they found it. When I went in to retrieve it, there were two young girls at the counter, probably about my age. They were giving me a hard time about the fact that the ID in the wallet was not a picture of me or my actual name. Oopsy daisies, forgot that was in there. They were saying how they were going to call the cops if I didn't hook each of them up with a fake ID as well and all this crap. The point is they were both pretty cute and might inspire me to be better about consistently going to the gym.

After that I met Ryan at J Timothy's for lunch, and we both came back for a good day of online poker. My schedule looked like this:

6 $22 180 player SNGs
12:45 $215 Sunday Warm up 500k Guarantee
1:00 $109 NLHE 15k Guarantee, $22 NLHE
2:00 $11 Daily Fifteen Grand
2:15 $22 1 re-buy 1 add-on, $3 Re-buy
3:30 $11 Sunday Hundred Grand
4:15 $11 Re-buy
4:30 $215 Sunday Million
5:00 $55 25k Guarantee
7:00 $109 25k Guarantee
7:15 $11 1 re-buy 1 add-on
8:00 $27.50 25k guarantee
8:15 $55 shorthanded

Nineteen tournaments in total, and I had four cashes.

My first cash was in the $22 1 re-buy 1 add-on for $84, which is only a profit of $22. I had quite the turnaround getting into the middle stages. I doubled up after pushing A 8 from the big blind after a late position raise, and won a race against 44. Then I flat-called a raise with QQ, and had a player behind me push all in for over 20 big blinds with 99. Then, I raised with KK, and someone pushed behind me with QQ for 20 more big blinds. All of the sudden I was huge stacked. My table had a lot of tough spots including JCamby33, TheOmaholic, and one other player that I can't remember.

My next cash was in the bottom pay tier in the $11 Sunday Hundred Grand, for $20 which had over 20,000 players in it. I finished 2400th or something like that. That tournament was won by online beast and WSOP Europe champion, 18 year old Annette_15. It's pretty crazy that of 20,000 players, a well-known would win, especially in a crapshoot like that.

I also managed to get deep in the $11 rebuy again, this time finishing 150th of 3700 for $174.

My biggest cash of the day though, was in the Sunday Million. I couldn't get anything going at all for the first two hours, and was treading water as best I could. With blinds at 400-800 with a 50 ante, I pushed all in for 8800 with AQ, getting called by AK. Luckily for me, I spiked a Q on the flop, and was still in. From there I managed to play well, win coin-flips and abuse the bubble a little. I had over 30 big blinds going into the money. I was really feeling good about my chances with an average stack and 130 or so players left, of the 8000 plus that had started. However I lost two hands in a row, then the blinds went up, and I was short stacked again. A late-middle position player made a small raise, one that I knew as weak. I pushed all in with 44, and he called with AhJh, hit a J on the turn and I was out. I finished 99th for $1935. It's a good payday, but it's still a little disappointing to get that deep in such a huge tournament and not have a shot at the final table where all the big money is. I know I'll have my breakout score eventually.

After poker, I caught up on Rock of Love 2 and went to bed. I'll try to update a few more times this week.

Until Then,

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