Friday, April 30, 2004

I'm not going to Vegas anytime soon

I enter in another freeroll multitable tournament in No Limit Texas Hold'em. 892 participants out of 1000 maximum, $500 prize money ($125 to the 1st, $2.25 to the 40th).

I did well! Wize from the experiences yesterday, I play more carefully. I've devised some principles for online poker.

  • It's hard to bluff, but it's doable. But only early on, if someone's hanging in there after the flop and you've got nothing, get out. But you can buy the pot. Sometimes.
  • If you want to pay money to see cards (out of curiosity, "what did he have?"), go buy yourself a signed, gold plated, framed deck of cards from the WPT or WSOP merchandize section. Don't care if you've put hundreds of markers in, putting in more won't change the cards you've got.
  • Playing with "play money", something most online casinos have, can be good practice. But only for reading and evaluating cards/hands, not playing the players (playaz?). Some just raise-raise-raise and if you run out of "play money" you can just click to get more.
  • Rounders is a movie, and you're not in it.

Now, on to the tournament.

For a long while, I did well. I was actually in the top quarter for some time. I'm not going to bother you with each play-by-play, just suffice to say that when I won pots, they were usually large. Just let them "buy" the pot with pre-flop all-ins.

I survived for an hour until after the break. The kiss of death was when I got a pair of tens as pocket cards (I'm sure there's some catchy poker lingo for it) and another player before me (Player A) goes all-in with about 7000 markers pre-flop. I think "dahelweit" (Why I suddenly went gaelic, I don't know) and put in my 4000. Another player (Player B) matches that, tags along. Since there are no other players and no more bets possible, all pocket cards are displayed and the flop is shown. Q, ten and something. Heey, I have Three of a kind, tens, while A has just a pair of jacks as pocket cards. B has Q9 as pocket cards. I can win this! Turn, something, I can still win this.

The river is a queen (and that's a good folk song title if I ever heard one). Waitaminute, three queens are better than my three tens, and B rakes in the 22450 pot that would have put me in the top ten for a while. I
finish in 220th place (out of 892).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it gambling.

I enter another real money $5 tournament, one table, ten players. I finish in 6th place after losing with two pairs JT against three of a kind that went all-in. I had to play that hand, it looked good to me.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it gambling.

The freeroll tournament is still on, after two and a half hours. Not very good hourly wages for those in 30th to 40th place ($2.25)

But that, ladies and gentlemen, et cetera.

I see that one of my opponents from yesterday has won a $10000 seat to WSOP 2004. Flight, accomodation for 8-9 days and $1000 spending money. Vegas, baby!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I'm hooked on freeroll tournaments

I happened to get a seat at a Ladbrokes poker tournament tonight, a freeroll tournament in online no limit Texas Hold'em where you don't have to pay but can win real money.

I haven't played much real online poker, mostly only with "play money" and never been in a (freeroll)tournament, so I was happy to just partake in it.

I had prepared. Beverage, candy, cheat sheet (guidelines for when to play and not). I had drawn up a plan. Primary goal was just to survive. Secondary goal to survive a few levels. Tertiary to win money, any money. (1st place gave $1762.50, 130th $7.50)

Thanks for playing... We (all 2500 players in the tournament) start out with $1500 each.

First hand, I get dealt a pair of deuces as hole cards. I said I would play carefully, so I just follow and call all the way to the river and still have the same (could have hoped for a set). On the river betting everybody checks, so that doesn't cost me more but I lose (don't remember to what) and I'm already down $240. How can I possibly play deuces to the end?

Round two. Let's get ready to rrrumble! Dealt Kc, Js. Nice, I'll play these, just call the $20. Hooray, the flop gives me a pair of kings, and there was two spades giving me the possibility of a flush. The players before me fold or check and I bet $100, some follow. The turn, another spade. The players before me fold or check and I bet $100, some follow. The river. Another spade. This is a whole gundang toolshed, but most importantly, I have a f-l-u-s-h.

The only remaining player except me bets a lot (don't remember if he went all-in, or just bet more than I had...) but I have to go all-in. My thinking went "flush is a good hand. I have the jack, the ace and king of spades are on the table together with another spade. He probably also has a flush but the odds are low that he has the queen. I can't NOT play a flush.".

Showdown time... Whammo. He has Full House, aces full of deuces.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it gambling.

I bet against the possibility that the opponent would have a better hand. One can't wait for an unbeatable royal straight flush, the odds for that are so low your money will be eaten up by the blinds.

Pity, I didn't even have time to get a feel for the players, this was the second hand, remember? Hadn't barely had time to sit down at get comfortable or have a closer look at the cards. I was just like, ya'know; "Flush!", "The ace of spades, the ace of spades!" \m/

(Finished 2432nd place out of 2500 players. The best-laid plans of mice and men go oft awry, and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy.)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


I receive (whoa, I'm damaged by my training in English, I always have to stop and think the mantra "I before E except after C") the grades from the course Systems Theory.


Out of the fifteen taking the course: "Pass with distinction" 3, "Pass" 10, "Fail" 2.

I am negentropic.

Oh, and the Web Technologies course is fun. Servlets and JSP are hella cool.