Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mookie Recap

Three things:

1. I suck at bluffing, still. Too bad Heffmike couldn't put those chips to better use.

2. I think my avatar winks every time I have a big pair. Considering some of the ridiculous action I saw with suspect hands, how did I not get more out of my three AA or my one KK & QQ?

3. Congrats to Mr. ACH on the undisputable victory. Well deserved for too many reasons to list.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Poker Advice

Strategy post time!

Q: What is the optimal way to play Stud Hi\Low?

1. Play mostly to scoop pots with 2-way hands
2. Play to split pots after building them up vs multiple callers
3. Keep calling until you have all 7 cards, then make your decision

Trick question: the answer is 4. Don’t play at all.

Once upon a time, I actually enjoyed playing Stud, albeit Stud Hi. I was probably not as good as I thought I was (somewhere in my archives are some ill-fated attempts at putting up a strategy post or two about Stud that I’m too lazy and\or embarrassed to link up again), but more importantly, I was at least better than those I was playing against. I mostly played Stud SNGs on Party; back then, it didn’t take 2 days to fill up one small stakes SNG. It was my first successful foray into non-NLHE games, and by successful, I mean that I recall actually eeking out a small profit in those games.

Last night, on a whim, I played the Skillz game. I got home with plenty of time to register but decided against it because it was a Stud H\L blogger game. I don’t know what it was that caused me to change my mind & register shortly after the game began, but it was probably the worst decision of the night (and believe me, considering just the hands that I saw, there were plenty of bad decisions last night). In hindsight, I would have been more satisfied if I used the same $11 for the buyin to instead clean up my cat’s puke.

The game started off just splendidly. The very first hand I had (22)AA by 4th street against NewinNov & two cards showing for a low by 6th. He called all the through 6th then 2-bet me on 7th. The hand? A flush draw, no low, through 6th street that got there on 7th. Later on in the game, he had to clarify what qualified for a low. Wonderful.

It didn’t get much better than that. The only other notable hand was when I started with rolled 8s that made quads by 5th street against Heffmike. I misplayed the hand since I missed out on an opportunity to squeeze another bet out; my plan to check-raise 6th street was foiled by his check. Nevertheless, that hand got me to my highest chip stack, somewhere in the 5k range.

The rest of the night consisted of me playing mega-draws that just could never get there. Why is that

A) when I was calling down with draws I couldn’t hit, but everyone else was

B) when I was betting with mega draws, I still didn’t hit, but everyone else was

The hand that killed me was when I started with a high OESD, got 4 cards to a flush by 5th street , yet my bets couldn’t deter cemfredmd from calling through 6th street with (xx)35KT when I had J9Ax with three hearts showing. He did have three clubs showing, but it's hard to put him on two clubs underneath as well. I couldn't hit anything on 7th and had to check-fold yet again.

All this donkey-calling made put me on mega-tilt, and it seemed like pretty much everyone else felt the same way. The game lacked the jovial atmosphere of the Mookie or any other NLHE blogger game. I was pretty much pissed off before I started, semi-tilted after the very first hand, and ready to kill myself when I realized I lasted for almost two hours of that trash with nothing to show for it.

Congrats to CK for lucksacking her way to the title. I don’t say this to imply that she is a lucksack or is devoid of any Stud H\L skills; I say this only because I am convinced, after last night’s game, that any Stud skills are rendered useless by the donkey calling in a blogger game, and it really only becomes survival of the luckiest.

(keep in mind that last statement comes from someone who probably just sucks at Stud anyway)


At least the entire night wasn’t a loss. When I wasn’t taking the Skillz game seriously, I was taking some more hits from the pipe that is the Super Turbo. These had been a source of my recent bankroll surge so, even though I know that my success in these probably wasn’t sustainable, I keep going back for more. The surge kind of died down over the last couple of days until the final game last night, where I outlasted all but two monkeys in one of the 5-table super turbo monkey games, upping my meager bankroll to it’s highest in months.

On a side note, I would REALLY love to see the results after 10,000 of these multi-table turbos between A) an experienced & successful turbo player and B) an I-drink-my-own-piss monkey. I’m convinced they wouldn’t be drastically different if the monkey doesn’t just crush the other guy.


Mookie tonight. I’ll be there. Hopefully I won’t have to bring-in on 5 consecutive hands late in the game again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What's Worse?

Playing bad or running bad?

Full Tilt Poker Game #11908576518: PPI / Riverchasers Tournament (88441526), Table 4 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:43:13 ET - 2009/04/27
Seat 1: mclarich (4,050)
Seat 2: Shlee1112 (966)
Seat 3: Astin (2,591)
Seat 4: cracknKK (10,690)
Seat 5: DaBag (3,405)
Seat 6: ElSnarfGrande (4,124)
Seat 8: iaatg6296 (4,752)
Seat 9: STING70 (4,609)
Astin posts the small blind of 40
cracknKK posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [As Ad]
DaBag folds
ElSnarfGrande raises to 240
iaatg6296 folds
STING70 folds
mclarich raises to 640
Shlee1112 folds
Astin folds
cracknKK folds
ElSnarfGrande has 15 seconds left to act
ElSnarfGrande calls 400
*** FLOP *** [Ks 8s Th]
ElSnarfGrande checks
mclarich checks
*** TURN *** [Ks 8s Th] [Kd]
ElSnarfGrande checks
mclarich bets 560
ElSnarfGrande raises to 1,120
mclarich calls 560
*** RIVER *** [Ks 8s Th Kd] [Jd]
ElSnarfGrande bets 2,364, and is all in
mclarich calls 2,290, and is all in
Uncalled bet of 74 returned to ElSnarfGrande
*** SHOW DOWN ***
ElSnarfGrande shows [Ac Kh] three of a kind, Kings
mclarich mucks
ElSnarfGrande wins the pot (8,220) with three of a kind, Kings
mclarich stands up

Either way, this would have been one of those hands that did me in either way, as I'm sure the money's going in on the flop; for some reason, I thought checking the flop was sneaky or something. Of course he hits his two outer on the turn, and his check-raise tells me exactly that. I, however, am not the most disciplined poker player, and all I see is "wheeeee pretty Aces". I even had a chance to save myself half my stack on the river, but instead I put them all in when really the only hand that Snarf could have that I can beat is QQ. Stupid two outer, but even stupider play by me, the second time in as many blogger tournaments that I couldn't fold my overpair despite plenty of evidence suggesting I should.

Three years later, and my blog's name is still just as relevant.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I've Got My Seat

I guess it was my day today:

At one point, I was down to 565 chips with about 27 people left. Then things started coming together. I doubled up with the only other shorty called my allin with T5s vs QQ. AK held up vs KJ AIPF to nearly double my stack. I tried playing a bit more of an aggressive game today, and it helped that I got the cards to support it.

The hand of the day for me, aside from the final hand, was doubly sweet: I vaulted to the chip lead and took out Lucko at the same time:

Full Tilt Poker Game #11771138015: Brit Blogger Game (87407341), Table 1 - 150/300 Ante 25 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:51:19 ET - 2009/04/19
Seat 2: Julkeus (2,820)
Seat 3: SmBoatDrinks (3,730)
Seat 4: mclarich (9,772)
Seat 5: twoblackaces (7,856)
Seat 6: lucko21 (7,735)
Seat 7: wwonka69 (11,862)
Seat 8: heffmike (4,225)
Julkeus antes 25
SmBoatDrinks antes 25
mclarich antes 25
twoblackaces antes 25
lucko21 antes 25
wwonka69 antes 25
heffmike antes 25
mclarich posts the small blind of 150
twoblackaces posts the big blind of 300
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mclarich [As Ac]
lucko21 raises to 800
wwonka69 folds
heffmike folds
Julkeus folds
SmBoatDrinks folds
mclarich calls 650
twoblackaces has 15 seconds left to act
twoblackaces folds
*** FLOP *** [2c Ks 2s]
mclarich bets 1,200
lucko21 calls 1,200
*** TURN *** [2c Ks 2s] [Jd]
mclarich bets 3,300
lucko21 raises to 5,710, and is all in
mclarich calls 2,410
lucko21 shows [Jc Kc]
mclarich shows [As Ac]
*** RIVER *** [2c Ks 2s Jd] [5h]
lucko21 shows two pair, Kings and Jacks
mclarich shows two pair, Aces and Twos
mclarich wins the pot (15,895) with two pair, Aces and Twos
lucko21 stands up

Lucky for me, the J fell on the turn and made it nearly impossible for him to get away from the hand. That gave me nearly a 5k chiplead over 2nd place Evil Wonka.

I got heads up against TBA with a 3:2 chip deficit and got all my chips in bad against him with QT vs JJ. IMO, he became more aggressive as the blinds got higher and I started playing back at him with weaker holdings, thinking he was raising with a wider range. In this case, he actually had a hand but I pulled out a Q on the river to take a 3:1 lead.

This was the first final table I've been at in a while, and my HU game was kind of rusty. Plus, being so close to a TOC seat against an accomplished MTT player like TBA made me a bit nervous. I stayed patient and tried to hold on to my advantage as a bigger stack, even folding 22 to one of his shoves because I wanted to find a better spot to get my chips in. I didn't think I would have been able to compete as well if we got to even stacks again.

The last hand was a total setup - we both had trip Queens by the river, but my KQ narrowly beat his QJ, and miraculously, I get to join the handful of lucky donks to play for a WSOP seat.

GG to everyone, especially TBA, who came back from being the shortstack with 5 remaining to one card away from taking it down. It was just my day to be the luckiest donk I guess.

Week In Recap

The Good:

- Seeing my bankroll triple since my initial deposit, courtesy of the $7 Turbos. I've been away from FTP for so long that I didn't notice until this week that they now have multi-table Turbos as well as PLO turbos. I don't know if I'll ever be able to play a standard game of poker again.

The Bad:

- Busted early in the Mookie when I couldn't fold KK vs against QueensUp on a Q99 flop despite A) my UTG PF raise screaming strength and B) his 3-bet against my flop check-raise. His 89o held up, and I gained yet another example of where I played my overpair two hard despite evidence suggesting I wasn't ahead.

The Ugly:

-Yo momma

I'm shooting for Brit, Riverchasers and Mookie this week. No Big Game due to bankroll, no Skillz game since I have tickets for Thievery Corporation that night. See ya when I see ya.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cause Hammer-dropping Is So Passe'

I’m back. And by “back” I mean “donating to blogger tournaments again.

I had every intention of reloading in time to make a decent run in the BBT4 for April. My cat had intentions as well, intentions of getting severely ill and forcing me to use my reload money on getting him better. Despite suggestions to just replace the cat, I played the role of good cat parent, and had to wait until this past payday to get some money on FTP. It wasn’t much but it was enough to get me started and at least allow me to play most of the BBT4 events this week, starting with the Brit Blogger Tournament.

Say what you will about dropping the hammer; what I say is that the more bloggers declare that The Hammer is overrated, ridiculous, or “so 2003”, the funnier I think it is. I don’t play it because I think “tee-hee, I just got you to fold the better hand, sucker!” but because I tend to overplay jokes beyond their shelf life. Plus, I don’t ALWAYS drop the hammer when I have it, but I will drop it when it makes sense. In the case of the Brit game, it made sense to play my hammer the two times I had it, because I couldn’t rely on winning any big pots; the times I had AA, QQ or JJ I got nothing but blinds. Not that the hammer fared any better:

-Hammer No. 1: Blind vs blind, I got some silly limper to fold his SB to me. I flashed the hammer, hilarity ensued.

-Hammer No. 2: After losing a large amount of my stack vs a short NewinNov (AJ vs AQ), I reshoved my own shortstack vs a MP raise. I got half of what I wanted: two live cards vs ATo. But by the end, somehow, my 7 high didn’t hold up against his Broadway. So rigged.

Tonight is Riverchasers. If I can get a token in time, or at least cash a couple of Super Turbos, I might be there.


Speaking of Super Turbos….oh, how I’ve missed thee. I got addicted to these last summer when FTP introduced them, and rediscovered them again this weekend. I’ve run fairly lucky in a couple of these (i.e 79c > AA, sucker!) but for the most part it’s been easy money, to the tune of doubling my deposit in just one weekend. Whether or not this run holds up remains to be seen (last time I sang the praises of the Super Turbo, I went on a major, MAJOR downward spiral), but as long as shorties keep folding and holding on to their remaining .5BB, I’ll keep playing.


P.S. Kudos to anyone who gets the song I’m referencing in my title post. I doubt anyone will, but you never know. MHG maybe?