Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Internet Poker Legislation

Anyone have any feedback on this bill: HR2366 ?

The PPA is pushing it hard, but I'm not so sure about it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Making it to DAY 2 in the WSOP

Let me preface this with reminding everyone of how big of a donkey poker player I am. I mean, I play as a hobby only, and then take a shot at a big tournament once a year. It amazes me how the professional poker player does it. Not only do they have to endure the hours and hours of sitting at a table (as much as 14 hours a day), but they also have to endure the sickening suck outs by lesser skilled players that I'm sure could make them want to go crazy.

That being said, I played the $1500 NLHE WSOP Event #18 a couple of Saturdays ago. This was my second attempt at a $1500 event, and I did watch my wife cash in a $1500 event last year. If you want to skip the details: I felt I played great the first day, then lost focus and couldn't close the deal on Day 2.

The first few levels (1 hour each) are filled with donkeys. People with huge tells, people shoving with draws, and people who fold to any aggression. If you take your time and get to know your table, you should be able to chip up pretty easily. When I played three years ago in a $1500 event, I played way too tight (after the advice of Dan Nassif), then I got delusional (not a metaphor) as the time sitting at the table wore me down (because I was super hungover from the night before), and eventually was out by the dinner break.

This time, I prepared myself and felt like it was worth it. I got plenty of sleep the night before. Ate a big breakfast.  I got to know my first table, carefully picking my spots and chipping up nicely the first 5 hours. I was well over the chip average going into the second half of the day. As the day grew on, the competition became tougher and tougher. I was at table 15, and we never broke all day. So I saw bust out after bust out as I sat and eventually became one of two original players left at #15.

One thing that you have to get used to is the "new" betting style by the internet kids. At my starting table I had the old time Navy guy (raised 4x whenever he came into a pot), the old crabby guy that has read every book (raised exactly 3x every time he came in), the young "dude" (who had two moves: raise 1400 into a 500 pot or shove -and we found out his shoves were always draws which eventually led to me taking him out), the rest of the guys raising 3x BB's, and then the internet kids raising 2.1-2.5x BB's. The internet kids will drive you crazy. I tried to adjust but I just don't have enough experience doing it yet to be that good at it. The great thing for them is that they seem overly aggressive, but they have severely widened their range. A widened range helps when you hit a pot, but since their raises are smaller, it doesn't hurt as bad when they miss. It's a hard style to play back against -for example, one of the guys down there with me went out to a J4 when an internet kid raised his big blind 2.2x, my friend just called with a marginal hand that hit the flop (admitted later he would have folded to a 3x bet), but the internet kid flopped two pair. It invites you to widen your range as well. I think this style forces you to play even better post-flop -which is not what an amateur like me wants to do.


Around level 7, an internet kid (could tell by bet sizes) sat down next to me and picked me apart. I must have folded to a 4 bet and he picked up that and 4 bet almost every single 3 bet I made. At first, I was picking on the BB when I was the cutoff and he was re-popping me. I picked up on it, and tried to vary the BB's I was going after. But he kept at it. He would even shove, when it was twice in a row or the third time I raised. I thought about playing back at him, but never had the right hand.

This caused me to tighten way up and eventually start to bleed off chips. I was outplayed beautifully. I'm sure in his mind, he knew he owned me.

With about 15 minutes left in level 10 (the final level of the day), I started counting chips against the BB's of the next day. So when I was down to $5,000 in chips I figured I had 5 BB's to start the next day (500/1,000/100). I didn't want to come back the next day with only 5 BB's, so I announced to the table that very thing. "I'm not coming back tomorrow with this many chips, so you are going to see my chips all in very soon".

The very next hand, another internet looking kid who had been very aggro and had just lost a huge hand to an "MMA fighter dude" that had 27off, shoved all his chips in ($11,000). I made the donkey call with A8off. It was probably a bad call, but it just looked like he was frustrated shoving weak. I was right, when he flipped over K7 and I doubled up. The very next hand, he shoved again, and I called with A10. This time his K5off hit a K on the river and took me back down to about $12,000 or 12 BB's. I was happy going into day 2 with that, so watched as the clock ticked off 4 more minutes and we were going to day 2. I had $11,900.

All night, and the next morning, I was channeling my luckbox skills. "AA", "KK", "AA", "KK" I kept thinking. One double up and I can play poker again. I will be losing 2500 chips every orbit and I need about 1 1/2 hours of play to get to the money. There were 469 left and 324 pay. I can't fold to the money.

First hand, I look down to AA. Unbelievable. What to do? I'm in middle position. I'm thinking shove with any premium hand, but I really want action. It folds to me. The big stack to my left has not arrived yet (that turned out to be a bad beat for me because he surely would have played with me) so I had 3 to act after me. I raised to 2.5x BB and got 3 folds. I win 2.5 BB's.

Fold, Fold, Fold for awhile.

The winner of this event last year (Pascal LeFrancois) is sitting two to my right so is the button on my BB. He is raising about 40% of the hands and is chip leader at my table. He raises EVERY BB I have. I get down to 9 BB's and shove from MP with AJ. No callers. Back up to 11BB's.

I get QJ off in the BB and LeFrancois opens the pot for 2.1xBB. SB folds, and I decide to flat. Flop comes A23rainbow. I check, he checks. I don't think he's being tricky, so I assume no Ace, but still a lot of possible hands ahead of me. Turn is a 2. I think long about betting out, but decide to check. He checks pretty quick. River is a 3. I wait a bit and bet out 3K (almost a third of my stack). I figure there is a good chance we chop here, but I didn't realize at the time that there wasn't a single hand he would fold to my bet there. Again, I'm the donkey still learning. He thinks a long, long time. Finally he calls and shows 66 FTW. Only thing I figure could have happened was I check it down. A preflop shove and he surely calls and I'm out. Even if I shove after the flop, I think he calls. He has 50K vs my 10K at this point.

Pretty soon I'm down to 5 BB's figuring I have to make a move soon. There are 360 players left but I figure it will be at least 30 more minutes or about 4 orbits and I only have 2 orbits of chips. Still can't fold to the money. I get an unopened pot with 4 to act behind me and look down at A7sooted. I ship it and get called by AQ. Out about 350th with 324 getting paid.

So I beat myself up the rest of the day. How could I not have been more patient on day 2? I folded A7 sooted plenty of times on Day 1. I even folded AJ plenty of times. I decide I'm just way out of my league to even be playing there, but then I figure a couple of different outcomes and I'm sitting on plenty of chips to make a run on Day 2. Who knows?

I do know it was a blast. I learned a lot making it to Day 2. Now looking back, I feel even more confident that I could make a Day 2 again. It takes some physical preperation, some patience, some good play, and of course, some "run-good".

I can't wait until next time. I hope you run good. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let the donkfest begin

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WSOP attendance up

So far, it looks like the people that predicted that the end of online poker would increase the number of live players in the WSOP are correct. I wonder if it will hold true for the main event?

One quote I read somewhere and I'm sorry I didn't grab it to give credit, was: The combination of no online poker and the fact that the online players are not completely broke yet is contributing to the increased attendance. A year from now, with no online opportunities to make money, I guess we could see a big decrease in WSOP attendees. Who knows?

More people now, equals bigger prizepools. And since I'm playing this Saturday, that's good for me.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Poker this SUNDAY

I may or may not make it back from KC in time. If I can, I would like to. I did take down the first NLHE event of this (<--pats self on back) and so I know I have enough play money chips to afford to play.