Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Been Doing a Lot of Writing

Well I am one week into my new writing gig at Rakeback.com. It's been an eye opening experience getting a peek into the poker news industry. It is definitely a lot harder than I anticipated. The most difficult part is writing news articles on topics that I really don't care that much about. Through the first six articles the best ones that I have written are the two that I was really interested in:

Negreanu v Duke Feud Heating Up Again

$2 Million PokerStars Collusion Ring Caught

I now have a totally new respect for people like Pauly and Shamus and their writing skills. Also, thanks Shamus for answering some of my questions about the industry for me before I ended up getting the job. You helped out a ton.

One item I find difficult to do when writing the articles is that I am not allowed to link to sites that try to turn their traffic into rakeback arrangements such as Poker News. I am allowed to mention them but not allowed to directly link them. It's a hell of a lot easier writing on this blog where I can link what I want and when I want.

As time goes on I will be able to start picking my own news items and the writing should flow a whole lot better. One of a series of articles I will be doing is poker room reviews for the various locations that I visit through my regular job. Coming up over the next few months will be trips to Mohegan Sun, The Meadows (Pittsburgh area) and Harrahs New Orleans.

Feel free to check that Rakeback.com site often to check out the articles. The traffic created certainly helps me out.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some People Never Learn

So I have been bum hunting this player in the NL 2-7 sng's named buldoog. They actually show up on the Sharkscope leaderboard for 2010.

Not a particularly bright player in the sense that he (assuming here) refuses every rematch request that I accept but then he turns around and registers for the next one where I can just register after him and play again. These things don't fill too fast so I can easily do it. To date I have registered a 7-0 record vs him. His aggro style must work against most opponents if he is showing an ROI of around 17%. All you really have to do is wait for a spot and he will hang himself.

I played an interesting game last night. The horrible players were out in full force. In the first match of the night I was playing an opponent who would raise 5x and then draw 3. That match didn't take too long. The next one was really fun:

Seat 1: Graf783 (1235 in chips)
Seat 2: scottc25 (1765 in chips)
Graf783: posts the ante 5
scottc25: posts the ante 5
scottc25: posts small blind 10
Graf783: posts big blind 20
Dealt to scottc25 [3d 5d 2c 8s 6d]
scottc25: raises 40 to 60
Graf783: raises 40 to 100
scottc25: raises 100 to 200
Graf783: raises 100 to 300
scottc25: raises 140 to 440
Graf783: raises 140 to 580
scottc25: raises 220 to 800
Graf783: raises 220 to 1020
scottc25: raises 220 to 1240
Graf783: calls 210 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (10) returned to scottc25
Graf783: discards 3 cards
scottc25: stands pat on [3d 5d 2c 8s 6d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Graf783: shows [Ad Kh Th Jc Js] (Lo: a pair of Jacks)
scottc25: shows [3d 5d 2c 8s 6d] (Lo: 8,6,5,3,2)
scottc25 collected 2470 from pot
Graf783 finished the tournament in 2nd place
scottc25 wins the tournament and receives $6.00 - congratulations!

10-bet FTW!!!!!!!

Overall I am sitting at 32-12 for a profit of $51.20. Do you think a 36% ROI is sustainable?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some NL 2-7 Single Draw Strategy

I know not many of you play the game so I thought I would put down some numbers on some common spots in the game. Last night I was playing a sit & go and ran across a situation that comes up often, but I didn't know the exact odds. Let's start with the first part of the hand:

Table '304139281 1' 2-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: MITYAY317 (1320 in chips)
Seat 2: scottc25 (1680 in chips)
MITYAY317: posts the ante 20
scottc25: posts the ante 20
MITYAY317: posts small blind 40
scottc25: posts big blind 80
Dealt to scottc25 [6s Jc 7h Ts 8s]
MITYAY317: raises 160 to 240

My opponent has been doing a lot of 4x raises with their 2 card draw hands from the sb/button and 3x raises with his 1 card drawing hands. Having a made hand vs drawing hands is such a huge advantage in this game. Basically if someone jams you are never getting good odds even with a 1 card draw.

scottc25: raises 1420 to 1660 and is all-in
MITYAY317: calls 1060 and is all-in

I am at the very top of my jamming range in this spot with a pat Jack hand. Keep in mind that I would never open jam here but this is a perfect spot to jam over raises. Looking at the numbers my opponent should only call with a made hand in this spot.

Uncalled bet (360) returned to scottc25
scottc25: stands pat on [6s Jc 7h Ts 8s]
MITYAY317: discards 1 card
*** SHOW DOWN ***
scottc25: shows [6s Jc 7h Ts 8s] (Lo: J,T,8,7,6)
MITYAY317: shows [4h 5d 3c 5s 2s] (Lo: a pair of Fives)
scottc25 collected 2640 from pot
MITYAY317 finished the tournament in 2nd place
scottc25 wins the tournament and receives $6.00 - congratulations!
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2640 | Rake 0
Seat 1: MITYAY317 (button) (small blind) showed [4h 5d 3c 5s 2s] and lost with Lo: a pair of Fives
Seat 2: scottc25 (big blind) showed [6s Jc 7h Ts 8s] and won (2640) with Lo: J,T,8,7,6

Let's look at his odds vs my made hand. My opponent was holding 2,3,4,5 meaning he could catch any 7,8,9,10 or jack to win the hand. at first glance that looks like 20 cards to hit his hand or approximately 40%, right on the number(1060/2640) to make a profitable call. Keep in mind in draw games I have to have some of his outs in order to have a hand worthy of jamming. Let's take 2 cards out if his possible outs (as it turns out I had 4) for 18 total and an approximate 36% chance of winning. That turns his one card draw into a losing proposition.

Let's further look into my jamming range. Knowing the odds I am never making this play with a made queen. My range is limited to made J,10,9,8 and 7 hands. My head hurts too much to figure out those numbers, but let's look at a pat 10 hand for example. My opponents outs are reduced to 16 and even further reduced to the cards I have already in my hand (guessing 2), their percentage drops all the way to 28%.

OK enough math and strategy. Time to rest.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Writing Gig

Rakeback.com has been kind enough to offer me a writing job for their site. I just signed the contract today and will be starting at some point next week. I will be mainly writing news articles that go up on there site. Once everything starts going full steam ahead I will post up links on here, but the articles should be showing up on this page.

When I started my old blog back in November 2005 (has it been that long?) I never thought I would be making any money from it. I welcome the challenge and it should be a ton of fun. Again, more details as they occur but in the mean time go check out the site and if you have any article suggestions drop me a comment. Also, check out their forums. I will probably be trolling around there quite a bit as well.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Wonderful World of Deuce

I have a new found favorite game. Don't worry, I'm sure I will curse it to no end soon enough. Back a few months ago I was playing some pot-limit heads-up 5 card draw sit-n-gos. I found that it was fairly easy to read my opponents hands based on betting patterns. About a week ago I decided to try another draw game, 2-7 no-limit single draw. I have been playing the turbo heads-up sit-n-go version with a decent amount of success.

So far I have played 27 $3.20 turbos and I have amassed a 19-8 record. Right out of the gate I started off 12-1 but have since posted a break-even record. I would really like to move up as fast as I can due to the rake structure. When you move up to the $6 ones the rake is only $0.25. Way more beatable. I need to take a peek at that level one of these days to see how the quality of play is. Someone mentioned a possible challenge. It's possible but not too likely because of the lack of volume in these and I haven't even tried multi-tabling them yet.

I have noticed a bunch of regulars in these. Taking notes is so important in these. One of the players that is on the Sharkscope leaderboard for heads-up draw games I have pegged as an aggro monkey. You never have to bet your hands, he will for you. So far I am 4-0 vs him. He has always refused the rematch.

The strategy I have developed for these has been working well. Even if I am down 300 to 2700 I never feel that I am out of it. I have actually come back from this deep of a hole around a half dozen times already.

I will give you one good tip. When you are both drawing one and you are out of position, check your big made hands (7s, 8s and 9s). If your opponent misses they are not calling your bet anyway. Give them a chance to bluff off some chips and bet hands they normally wouldn't even call with. One rare exception to this is when you get a player that pays off with any non-paired hand (and even some small pair hands).

I will post after I get a couple hundred of these done and see if I notice any more trends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

At Least It Was Fun....

while it lasted.


Step 4 - busto
Step 4 - busto
Step 5 - redo

On the step 5 redo we were 4 handed and I had about a 3k stack and a 3700 stack shoved in front of me and I snap called with AQcc. I was up against 33 and the board bricked off for a redo.


Step 5 - Step 4 - Step 5 - busto
Step 5 - busto

On the last step 5 I had a chance to possibly drop to a step 4 but it was folded to me in the small blind and I shoved my KQhh 4bb stack into the big blind with A7. We both improved but nor enough for me. I think if I fold there I am just an uber-pussy and would do it again if I had the chance.

I did reach Silver Star status for the first time ever. Not going to do me a whole lot of good right now since I will probably take an extended break except for a random AIPS event here and there. Oh, I also have the FPP satellites in a few weeks as well.

I suppose if I wanted to I could start from step 1 with 8 buy-ins my using my FPPs and the remaining cash in the account.

Maybe that extended break isn't coming too soon after all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quick Stars Steps Update

Starting Monday I had 2 step 3's and 2 step 4's. Here were the results:

Step 3 -- Step 4
Step 3 -- Step 3 -- Step 3 -- Step 4
Step 4 -- Step 5


Step 4 -- Step 5
Step 5 -- Step 5

On the step 5 that I played I was able to build a lead early, all the way up to 2800, without showing down a single hand. When we reached 100/200 we still had 9 people left and a lot of short stacks. I didn't have any calling hands and I watched everyone else battle and build stacks while I blinded down. I pushed one hand with no callers still six handed. After that I folded into 3rd place and shoved my last 1400 with Q8 but lost to 106. If I win that one I have a slight lead over 3rd. Oh, well I have run good so far I can handle that little loss.

So right now I am sitting on 2 step 5's and 2 step 4's. Back to the grind tomorrow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

AIPS and the PCA FPP Path

I ended up playing AIPS on Saturday afternoon. It was 2-7 Triple Draw that had 35ish runners with 5 being paid. My opening table was 5 handed with one person sitting out. Fasso was at my table as well. Early on we had one player that raises every hand. If someone bet to him he raised. I was able to get a hand vs him and put in a number of bets in (I think it was capped after 2nd and 3rd draw). I won the hand and he promptly sat out never to be seen again. Now playing 3 handed I was able to open up quite a bit playing a ton of 2 card hands. Every time someone defended I showed down an 86 or better. By the time we reached the first break I had my starting stack north of 7k which was almost triple the average stack.

In the second hour my table ended up breaking and on my new table I pretty much stayed steady. I would pop up and down but I was always around that 7k stack. When we dropped to 3 tables left and I was moved again I was able to accumulate some chips and when we fell to 2 tables I was at or near the chip lead around 11k. Then the wheels started to come off.

On the final 2 tables I was outdrawn like a mofo. I counted a total of 10 times I was pat after the second draw only to lose on the end. My stack was like a yo-yo. Down to 3k, back to 12k, etc. I ended up making the final table with around a 4th place stack. I lasted a little while before I finally busted in 5th. I think I had a different mentality at the final table over the 3rd-6th place stack entering. I wanted to win, they wanted to cash or move up a spot. When 1st is only $64, why? To each their own though.

So far on the year in 7 events I have 3 final tables (1st, 2nd, 5th) and a final table bubble. Not to bad of a series so far. I might even be near the top of POY if it wasn't for edwardm111's 4 wins on the year.

Sunday I played my round 3 and round 4 FPP MTT satellites for the PCA. The round 4 was the first one up. I played exactly two significant hands and folded a ton. I limp shoved about 15bbs with Ak and it held vs AQ. Later on I limped J10dd from the button and flopped the flush draw and min-bet the ace high board. I got there on the turn and was called by AdX and faded the higher flush draw for the double. From there I coasted into the seat. In the round 3 we had 4 live people at the table and 5 sit-outs. Someone decided to shove every hand. After about 10 hands in a row of this I defended with KQ and it held vs 97. From there I steadily increased and actually sat out at the end and coasted into a seat. The next tourneys are not till 8/29.

This week I will be working heavily on the steps. I really need to get it done by the end of the week. If not I am just going to have to bank what I have left and wait till there is something else I want to play. It's not looking too good though as I have never seen more than 4 people registered for the step 6 at any given time.