Sunday, December 26, 2010

Comes down to this (in fantasy football)

So my 3dime team is down 25 pts w/ Colston and Vick left vs my opponent's Philly def. It's a .5ppr + 4pts for pass tds and 6pts for rush tds in case anybody wanted to sweat along w/ me. Not much at stake...just a $3k buyin 14team league championship + $14k for the win or $4k for 2nd place. I did bring a partner before the season started because of the massive sidebets that go on in the league so I'll be splitting the win.

It's funny how the Minn-Phi game was postponed til Tuesday. I know Michael Vick will determine many ff championships across the country and he will determine whether I win mine + an extra $10k or not. If he sucks he may get hated more than he did for doing bad things to dogs (well in the fantasy football world at least).

Need him to become the (excuse the bad taste)..

I'll update whether I won or not after Tues. night's game.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The chase for SNE?

I've been mulling goals to make myself for 2011. Given that I found reasons to do other things than play poker the last couple of months (mostly because of family staying w/ us and it being football season), one of the goals has to involve some kind of volume reached. Well I've been thinking of moving over to Stars from FTP for a few reasons and what better volume goal than trying to achieve supernova elite on Stars.

Besides sne, I think playing on Stars is more logical for me because there are slightly more games at mid to higher stakes and I multitable well so being able to play as many as 24 tables at once gives me an option should I choose to add even more tables than I currently play now (12-15). Also the rakeback, well the equivalent of it which is fpps that can be traded in for cash, will be much higher if and when I achieve sne. Also I've been hearing the new FTP rakeback system, black card, and FTP store sucks.

The only con I see is that I prefer the software on FTP vs Stars but I think I'm alright w/ mass tabling w/ the Stars software. I've been dabbling w/ cascading and stacking 20 tables (mostly nl400 so I don't make more expensive mistakes at the higher stakes) the last couple of days and it hasn't gone well at all. Well I made a couple of thousand dollars but I made numerous mistakes, some of it outside of my control (or maybe it's due to my inefficiency cascading 20 tables). I timed out numerous times when I didn't react in time to tables that were hidden behind the other tables (I won't have this problem when I'm tiling tables) and that also led me to acting too quickly w/o thinking which in turn led me to make bad decisions.

Full Tilt, $2/$4 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 9 Players

Poker Tools by CardRunners - Hand Details

MP3: $914.10 (228.5 bb)

CO: $425.50 (106.4 bb)

BTN: $1,114.40 (278.6 bb)

SB: $107.50 (26.9 bb)

BB: $400 (100 bb)

UTG+1: $441.30 (110.3 bb)

Hero (UTG+2): $619.40 (154.9 bb)

MP1: $55.50 (13.9 bb)

MP2: $437 (109.3 bb)

Preflop: Hero is UTG+2 with 3 of clubs 3 of spades

UTG+1 folds, Hero raises to $12, 3 folds, CO raises to $36, 3 folds, Hero calls $24

Flop: ($78) 3 of diamonds 5 of clubs 4 of hearts (2 players)

Hero checks, CO bets $50, Hero folds

Results: $128 pot ($3 rake)

Final Board: 3 of diamonds 5 of clubs 4 of hearts

CO mucked and won $125 ($39 net)

Hero mucked 3 of clubs 3 of spades and lost (-$36 net)

Normally 33 is a fold preflop but there were reasons I called at the time, but in no way was I planning on folding on the flop...just timed out by accident. Another...

Full Tilt, $2/$4 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

Poker Tools by CardRunners - Hand Details

MP: $693.90 (173.5 bb)

CO: $455.60 (113.9 bb)

BTN: $594.40 (148.6 bb)

Hero (SB): $402 (100.5 bb)

BB: $845.60 (211.4 bb)

UTG: $348.40 (87.1 bb)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 8 of hearts Q of hearts

UTG calls $4, 3 folds, Hero completes, BB checks

Flop: ($12) Q of spades 6 of hearts 6 of diamonds (3 players)

Hero checks, BB checks, UTG bets $8, Hero calls $8, BB folds

Turn: ($28) 4 of hearts (2 players)

Hero checks, UTG bets $28, Hero calls $28

River: ($84) 7 of hearts (2 players)

Hero checks, UTG bets $308.40 and is all-in, Hero calls $308.40

Results: $700.80 pot ($3 rake)

Final Board: Q of spades 6 of hearts 6 of diamonds 4 of hearts 7 of hearts

Hero mucked 8 of hearts Q of hearts and lost (-$348.40 net)

UTG showed 4 of clubs 4 of diamonds and won $697.80 ($349.40 net)

Now this hand was even more of a disaster. W/ the tables cascaded and other tables awaiting my action I felt a need to act in haste and called pretty quickly w/o thinking much. This is almost always a fold at the river. When a limper (indicative of a less than avg. player at 6max) overshoves 3.5x at the river here a Q hi flush is almost never good.

Because of that I'm going to change my pc setup from 1 30" and 2 20" monitors to 2 30" monitors to see if I can play 20-24 tables tiled across the 2 monitors. I'm curious to hear from others that mass table and how you guys go about it.

Current set up...

As you can see I can fit 15 tables tiled across but w/ 2 30"'s I should be able to fit 24 tables tiled across if I choose to.

I guess I should try to get to platinumstar before the start of the new year (currently a goldstar) so I can accumulate fpps faster. Maybe I won't need to play 20+ tables since I'll be playing nl400+. At these stakes it requires focus so it might not be the smartest thing to do to play so many tables. I don't want to hurt my overall earning power at the expense of trying to achieve sne. I will talk more about my actual gameplan and specific goals when the new year begins.

Finally I did check out Cardrunner's Ronfar's latest video where he discusses what it takes to go for sne and he gives some good pointers. In case anybody was also thinking about it, you might want to check it out.

Now off to the Boise St.-Utah bowl game at Boyd Stadium (Unlv's stadium). I took Utah +16 and I bought tickets on the Utah side so if anybody is watching the game it might be easy to spot me. I'll probably be the only asian guy among the Utah cheering section.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The week that was

I've had a pretty eventful week (for me anyway). Started the weekend w/ a bang by participating in the Cardrunners' 5th anniversary $5 rebuy tournament on Saturday. Several CR pros had bounties on their heads including myself. I gave away a free lesson but the guy that busted me has yet to claim it...wonder if that is saying I was fortunate to bust a fellow CR pro ChipaHoya who was giving away a cake...yes a cake. I received it the other day and took a picture of it. Wow it came in a big box and was expecting it to be a big cake but apparently it was wrapped heavily and had ice packs in it to keep it cool so it turned out to be a lot smaller than I thought it would but nonetheless it was good....thanks Chip!

Anyway I ended up cashing in the tournament and fortunately I busted out when I did (not often you hear that statement) because I needed to attend the Las Vegas Wranglers' game that was starting shortly. They are a minor league ice hockey team here in Las Vegas. I needed to attend because my kid was part of her school choir singing the national anthem and some popular Christmas songs (during intermission). Well after the Wranglers scored their 1st goal people starting throwing teddy bears into the rink. It was quite a site...pic here...

Apparently it was toys for tots night or something like that. Obviously I thought it was very cool for the team to do that and had I known I would've brought a big teddy bear to toss myself (or maybe a note of me giving away a free poker lesson and my contact info since I have an unused offer).

Sunday was obviously football all day. I was in contention for playoff spots across my 3 leagues and unfortunately 2 of my teams choked and missed the playoffs. At least my 3dime team made the playoffs and is the #1 seed. I did take a pretty sick beat in one fantasy league where I was up 50pts going into Monday Night Football and had AP and Joe Flacco vs other teams' Matt Schaub, AJ, Sidney Rice, and Minn defense. I was probably at least a 10-1 fav and we had a total pts bet for $500 w/ me having the 50 pt lead and lost when Schaub and AJ went bonkers.

Now this league is the 1dime league comprised of mid - high stakes online regs and I think I lost to a certain guy I play vs. on a regular basis in my games. What's significant about this guy? Well this guy played a hand vs me a couple of months ago at nl600 where we got in $600 each w/ AK vs AK preflop and we ran it twice and he won both!! He had AK of spades and flop rolled off w/ 1 spade both times and both times it came runner runner spade. Yeah I guess you could say that guy owns me in everything.

Also on Sunday I played a multitude of tournaments for once (been awhile because of NFL) including the nl hu miniftops. I managed to beat my 1st 2 opponents fairly easily then lost to the biggest donk in my 3rd round matchup. I had him down 5-1 in chips and somehow he came back and won. It was also tilting because that was the bubble round..if you win that round you cash. Anyway I find out later that Kristy Arnett of Pokernews won it. She covers tournaments around the world and I didn't know she played online poker but apparently she's been getting coaching and playing 6max nl cash games online. What's significant of this? Well besides the fact that she's female, attractive and just won a nice tournament for $31k, I got to interview her for our podcast Cashplays (look for that soon). I really came away impressed by her knowledge of poker but unfortunately she would not give me back my buyin for that tournament when I asked. Side note...asian women are awesome at poker and at life...Barry G and Doublefly (his blog link on the right) know what I'm talking about and that's why I married one ;) . Kristy pictured...

I had to hurry to my kid's school after that interview to watch my kid sing in her choir for her school's annual Christmas play. Obviously as a dad it was awesome watching my kid be in it. I did get her Guitar Hero last year so it's good to see that she put that game to good use (improving her vocals). Now only if she would stop asking me for a real guitar (or maybe I will give in to that this Christmas). I managed to get a few good snapshots of the play including this one...

As for poker I managed to find time to play a little (but not too much). I made a couple of videos for CR where I played some nl1k 6max and hu. The hu match was interesting in that the guy got up $2700 or so on me but the whole time I felt like it was a matter of time before I beat him, and beat him I did. The videos are available on CR again for those that have a subscription and are interested in checking them out.

Also I played a hu match w/ my CashPlays cohost Jeremiah Smith the other day. We did it because he likes giving away money...I'm kidding...we did it because we thought it would be cool since we're cohosts on a podcast that focuses on cash games and maybe we can make a video or two out of it to share w/ our listeners and CR members. I went in thinking of making it a live session but after we played I think it's better to make it a leakfinder series where I help out Jeremiah and point out some of his mistakes and how to go about fixing them. The match lasted a couple of hours but it will be a 10 part series because of all the numerous screw ups Jeremiah made (zing!) it will probably be a 2 part series I'm thinking right now and I really think they will be informative. I won't reveal how the match ended up other than that Jeremiah might as well have played w/ his cards face up ;) .

Anyway since I haven't talked about poker much lately here is an interesting hand I played...

Full Tilt, $5/$10 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

Poker Tools by CardRunners - Hand Details

MP: $1,000 (100 bb)

CO: $2,169 (216.9 bb)

BTN: $543 (54.3 bb)

SB: $3,963 (396.3 bb)

BB: $1,000 (100 bb)

Hero (UTG): $1,000 (100 bb)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with 8 of clubs 8 of spades

Hero raises to $30, MP raises to $95, CO folds, BTN calls $95, 2 folds, Hero calls $65

Flop: ($300) 9 of diamonds 8 of hearts 8 of diamonds (3 players)

Hero checks, MP checks, BTN checks

Turn: ($300) A of diamonds (3 players)

Hero checks, MP bets $150, BTN folds, Hero calls $150

River: ($600) 7 of diamonds (2 players)

Hero checks, MP checks

Results: $600 pot ($3 rake)

Final Board: 9 of diamonds 8 of hearts 8 of diamonds A of diamonds 7 of diamonds

MP showed A of hearts K of diamonds and lost (-$245 net)

Hero showed 8 of clubs 8 of spades and won $597 ($352 net)

I don't want to get into too much detail here because villain is a fellow CR pro and we have history and definitely some kind of metagame going but wow is his river check back sick. He tanked down to a few seconds and I knew at the time he had a big diamond, possibly AQ w/ the Q of diamond (because the K of diamond would surely bet) and he was thinking whether betting had any value vs. me because he knows I probably won't call w/ much worse (even though sometimes I would) while I could check/shove w/ better. I was pretty shocked to see his hand tbh and I think I get an opponent to bet that hand 99% of the time (so I can check/shove all in).

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Interesting Fantasy Football EV Spot

This is for the fantasy football aficionados out there. So I mentioned I'm in a $3k buyin fantasy football league and we have sick side action going in it. My buddy Joe has a team as well and faced this interesting dilemma yesterday. He has a $15k total points bet his team vs. Ben's team w/ this week being the last week points count toward the bet (playoff weeks are not included).

W/ his team trailing Ben's team by 38 pts, Ben offered to let him buy out for $12k w/o this week counting. The scoring system in this league is .5 ppr w/ passing tds 4pts and all other tds 6pts (rest is standard eg 10 yds rush/rec 1pt, 25 yds pass 1pt, to's -2pts, Yahoo league).

So I think this is the way to look at it...Joe can agree and save $3k or he can risk the $3k to try to win $27k (the $12k owed + $15k if his team beats Ben's in the final week). So basically he's getting 9-1 on his money.

I guess it helps to know the teams so here they are (w/ matchups)

Joe's team:...............................Ben's team:

QB Eli Manning @ Minn.....................QB Matt Ryan @ Caro
WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. Denv..............WR Wes Welker @ Chi
WR Reggie Wayne @ Tenn....................WR Hines Ward vs. Cin
WR Nate Burleson vs. GB...................WR Steve Breaston vs. Denv
RB Ronnie Brown @ NYJ.....................RB Fred Jackson vs. Clev
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ Chi............RB Brian Westbrook vs. Sea
TE Tony Gonzalez @ Caro...................TE Jason Witten vs. Phi
W/R Mike Goodson vs. Atl..................W/R Randy Moss vs. Indy
K Billy Cundiff @ Hous....................K David Akers @ Dal
DEF San Diego vs. KC......................DEF NYG @ Minn

I'm curious to see if anybody think it's good to buy out for $12k and save the $3k or risk the $3k and try to win $27k. He asked me about it and I thought it was very close actually. Being the gamblers we are, I said I leaned toward letting it ride (plus having the sweats are fun).

His team has tough matchups and saving the $3k if his team loses won't affect him too much emotionally. If somehow he accepted and his team ended up outscoring Ben's team for the season costing him $27k he'll be on life tilt.

All that aside, which side do you like here? Take the $3k (and take the $12k loss) or risk it to win $27k?

Few more points...
-Joe's team has never outscored Ben's team by 38pts+ in a single week after 13 weeks
-Since they each had a player go last night they may renegotiate...Wayne had 12 pts, Moss Joe is trailing by 26 pts now. Keep in mind Moss was not projected to do much and Wayne had a very subpar performance, slightly below what he was projected.
-This is a 14 team league so there is nobody really left on waivers that is considered an upgrade over any of the starters
-Joe can substitute Ryan Mathews, Laurent Robinson, or Michael Jenkins for a starter but I don't think any of these guys are upgrades

Oh, as for me my team is in 1st place and a good favorite to win total points for the league and sweep all total points bets...that's just how I roll :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WPT Wrap Up (HH's/Observations/Thoughts/Girls)

Before I detail my final day which was day 3, I'll provide a link to a summary of my 1st 2 days of the $10k Bellagio WPT event that I wrote in my Cardrunners blog. I usually crosspost between my CR blog and here but elected to just leave my day 1 and 2 exploits on CR because they had an interest in how I did.

The above pic was taken right before the tournament started and had Mike Sexton, Jack Mclelland (tournament director) and the "Royal Flush girls" in it. Why did I show the pic besides it being eye candy? Well the girls were walking around all the time in the tournament room which made it hard to focus on poker sometimes, esp. the 3rd girl from the left in the black.

So I busted in 56th and cashed for $13,725. I have to admit I was highly disappointed even though I got deep and cashed. Bellagio has a weird payout structure where they pay 100 if a big buyin tournament gets over 400 entrants. This one had 440 or so and 100 got paid. I've heard some of the "name" tournament players complaining about it, probably because they're confident they can win more mtts or finish higher than most so theoretically it's costing them money. On the flip side it gives back money to more people so they can stay in action and keep games going instead of a few people getting most of the money. Also having a big buy in tournament that pays out 25%-30% (vs the standard 10%) probably will attract more entrants so that'll increase the overall prize pool while making the tournament a little softer.

I tend to think paying out a slightly higher % is better overall. I even think I'm one of the favorites to win any buy in tournament so having a flatter payout probably hurts me a little more. Even so I think having money distributed to more people is better for the overall landscape of poker.

As for this actual tournament, if you didn't read my previous post about my 1st 2 days you might not know I made it to day 3 w/ a pretty decent stack. We started the day w/ 140 left and as mentioned before 100 get in the money. W/ the blinds at 1k-2k and a 160k stack I had plenty of play and did not need to gamble or take flips for my stack, especially when I felt like I was one of the better players left in the tournament.

On my starting table were Dan Shak (who I had played w/ all day, seemed like a very nice guy, but played a very tight straightforward style), John Hennigan, Todd Terry, a guy on his left that was seriously the most dead ringer for Tony Romo in America (I really wanted to take a picture of him but felt it'd be rude to ask), a few unknowns inc. a young kid that had a ton of chips.

Anyway I tried an early light 3bet to try to pick up a few chips and set a tone if I got called and had to show my hand but got 4bet and had to fold (he showed me Aces..nice timing on my part). Then I realized the kid w/ all the chips started raising almost every hand, and he should have because nobody was playing back at him. I was essentially card dead, and for me that means not even seeing an Ax, Kx suited, broadways, sc's, 98o type hands so I didn't really try to combat him.

Finally he opr to 5k utg, I flat w/ a mid pp, Hennigan 3bets to 17500, kid 4bets to 54kish, I fold, Hennigan calls, flop T73r, kid shoves, Hennigan w/ 80k behind snap calls w/ 55 (great read), kid rolls over A9o, turn T riv 7, gg Hennigan. Yes I would've tripled up because my pp was slightly higher and wouldn't have been counterfeited but I didn't want to risk 100bbs and my mtt life to find out if my mid pp was good there. I was planning on calling 3 streets if the board rolled out pretty safely w/ no ace or king if Hennigan didn't squeeze. So now I know this kid had no fear, partially due to the fact that he can't go broke since he had everybody covered.

Then when we're a few spots from the money he opr from the co and I flat w/ KT from the sb which is very likely ahead of his range. I didn't need to 3bet because Shak in the bb was never squeezing and this kid was capable of 4betting light and I'd have to fold if I 3bet and he 4bet. Flop comes down T93r and I call him down every street when it comes 2, 2, turn and riv and he shows T3o...doh!

So now I'm down to 230k or so and we get into the money a little bit later and play this hand that I agonized over at the time... kid opr in the co (surprise) to 7200 w/ blinds at 1500/3k, I have QQ in the sb and 3bet to 22,500 (kid was calling everything preflop so I sized my 3bet a little bigger), Shak in the bb 4bets to 55k, kid snapfolds and I face a very difficult decision. I started the hand w/ 230k and Shak the same. Now I played w/ him 2 days straight and I'm 99% certain (I want to say 100% but it may seem unrealistic if I say I know for sure he's got 1 of only 4 hands) he's got QQ+ and AK only here. I'm sure he folds JJ or worse here and he's never 3 or 4 betting light, like ever. So finally I tank fold and he's been talkative and friendly w/ me the 2 days we've been playing and tells me he had AK (because I asked politely afterwards) which I believe. That was a best case scenario and even then I felt like I didn't need to flip for my tournament life because again, I'm confident and well, baller :)

Nothing transpires for a couple of levels and I maintain my 230k stack then I play this interesting hand. I'm in the bb and post the 5k bb, older guy in hijack opens to 20k which probably indicates 99-KK and possibly AK (some of these live guys, esp the older guys have no idea how to balance their range as you can tell by his preflop betsizing) and I decide to call w/ 22. I could've folded but I called because I had huge implied odds knowing that his range is weighted towards bigger pairs and he was the type to stack off w/ it. Plus I could bluff him if the board ran out scary.

Flop comes A93r, I chk, he bets 20k, I call because I already feel like that's a great flop to bluff later in the hand if he does have a big pp which I felt like he did. Turn J, goes chk chk like I expected (if he bets I would give up on my bluff and just fold), river 5, I bet 60k into 85-90k pot and I really expected him to fold unless he showed up w/ AK. He tanks for awhile and calls w KK...DOH!!

Here are my observations on this hand. The call w/ 22 preflop is kinda thin most of the time but for reasons I explained I thought it was a good call here. His river call is a head scratcher because I'm not sure what he expects to beat w/ how the hand played out. I'm (along w/ almost anybody else) always going to show up w/ Ax or sets here (except for this time I guess) because there is really no draw on the flop and most people would turn T9 or 98 into a bluffcatcher. I assumed he had some clue on how to read hands and I didn't see any signs from him that he was a donkey, not to mention we were down to 60 or so in a 10k event so most bad players are weeded out by then (oversight, Doug Lee was one of the chipleaders when I busted so I guess a donkey will make it deep once in awhile). I'm not even sure why he tanked...was he thinking of what hands he could beat? because I couldn't really think of any, even though he did beat me this specific hand. The best logic I heard was from a friend that I talked to w/ about this hand and he said he probably called so he can tell his buddies how he raised w/ KK and got called by AT, AJ, whatever and lost and how he never wins w/ big pairs. Anyway I felt like this was a great spot to bluff but it backfired...sometimes it happens.

So now I'm down to 120k and get moved to a table w/ Vanesso Rousso, Keith Gipson (dating Lacey Jones better please), Johnny Chan, Antonio Esfiandari, and Thor Hansen. I still felt like I had some play w/ 20bbs or so and felt like I was in the same class or better w/ this group. I pick up A5o from the sb and opr to 14k, bb 3bets to 40k, and I jam for 120k total thinking I could be ahead of bb's range because he was the most active and aggressive player on the table from what I saw. He calls and wins w/ 44 and I'm out. In hindsight I think limp/shove is slightly better here but he may still call w/ 44 because he had 4x more chips than me.

Anyway I was disappointed that I busted because I felt like I was one of the better players in it but I came away thinking that these 10k buyin events w/ 200-400 players were not all that tough even though there were tons of "name" players in them (mostly just live tournament pros including a bunch of known online kids better known by their handles). I saw fundamental mistakes some of these guys were making even though most knew how to betsize properly. Also other than my 22 hand (and even then it seemed like an opportune time to bluff and increase my stack) my live reads were really good and I felt like I knew what to do in pretty much every spot, even if I needed some time to think about it, eg QQ vs Shak's 4bet range. This has a lot to do w/ becoming a better player every passing year and now I'm pretty confident I can do well in any tournament no matter the size or buyin. I guess if it was a 1 table SnG w/ Ivey, Durr, Antonius, Galfond, South, Jungleman I'd feel outclassed but those guys are usually busy crushing nosebleeds so I don't have to worry about that spot ever coming up.

Why is this relevant? It's because while I'll still be focusing on cash games mostly, I'm planning on playing more big buyin live events down the line starting next year. So don't be surprised if I bink one for 7 figures.

Also I had not played a 10k event in almost 3 years (outside of the WSOP main event but that's a different kind of 10k event w/ the huge player field) and didn't know what to expect of the overall competition. I saw that it was a little tougher than the last one I played but in those 3 years my game has shown more improvement than the rest of the field and that gives me a ton of confidence in future big buy in events. It just goes to show you w/ experience, hard work, and dedication one can excel in poker, whether that's cash games or tournaments, no matter the buyin or size. Even though I didn't win a million dollars ($900k to be exact for this tournament) I know I can beat this game of poker that can be frustrating for a lot of people, including some of you out there. All I can hope is that most, if not all of you guys get to a point where you can ooze the confidence I feel, and that requires a dedication in becoming the best you can be...something that I've always strived for. It doesn't necessarily have to be in poker, just about anything in life.

Shameless plug: Cardrunners is a great tool to improve your game (hey I need to score points w/ my employers).

***Any statement that seems arrogant on my part, which is probably the entire post and you have a problem w/ it, can kiss my ^$#!***

***Some statements have a bit of sarcasm in them inc. the one right above, rest is up to you guys to figure out which ;) ***

Oh, and this is Lacey Jones for those that didn't know....