Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cracked cards cause commotion

Nope. Dagnammit. I did not qualify in the monthly satellite for the Swedish online poker championship (No Limit Texas Holdem) that I got a place in via a subsatellite.

310 others had also qualified in the previous weekly subsats of June, and a hundred more had bought a place in the monthly final. This time, everybody was very careful in the early stages. I'm at average stacks size the whole time until after 45 minutes. Earlier I had seen players being knocked out in the "usual" situations. KK beaten by AA. AA beaten by QQ with a Queen coming on the turn after all-in.

Now, I get AA as hole cards, blinds are 25/50 and I bet heavy preflop. One or two callers. The turn is TQ4, bet heavy again and one player calls. Turn is a Queen and I bet heavy and one player goes all-in with what he has left, a few hundred more for me. Call, and river was a five.

I was thinking (but not knowing) that he had a straight draw or a low pair. I had two pair, AAQQ. Nopes. He had TT on hand, meaning full house, Tens full of Queens and that left me severely crippled. Never recovered from it, went out on an all-in with a low pocket pair, sevens or eights.

322nd place of 411.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Oh? Maha!

Yesterday was the biweekly homegame tournament again. Instead of Texas Holdem we tried Omaha Holdem. OK, so now we've tried it but it won't happen again. It seemed much more random than Texas, an excellent Texas hand could easily be dead after the flop, turn and/or river (straights and flushes are much more common in Omaha Holdem, so your little AA or KK could be worthless). And sometimes we had to think hard about who won. "Oh, you won. No, by the way, it's a split pot. Never mind, you have the flush." Play was wild, saw a few multi-way all-ins.

Doc won again, he's on an incredible streak. I came in third (out of six). One of these days, Alice...

As I wrote earlier, I found a really chip poker set, 200 chips, 2 decks and a mat, in a tin box. This I brought to the game as a secret bonus prize the others could by in to, which they all did making me break even on the cost. P, our female player, won it on Best Hand, and she also finished second. Not necessarily highest, best, decided by the remaining players. Hers was a full house, kings over tens with two kings in the hole cards and a king on the river, beating other player's tens over queens (three tens on the board). If I recall correctly. I regret one thing, and that is that I should have bought more of those sets at that price. Excellent little gift, better than flowers or wine.

Hit a slump in my online playing after an initial good streak, but I'm still up a few hundred. Prepping for the monthly final in a week where one in five go on to the big final in November, Swedish Championship in online poker.

Friday, June 10, 2005

That's why they call him the streak

Boogie-dy, boogie-dy

What a week! Tuesday: Up $75 at PartyPoker at the frigging $0.5/$1 fixed limit in three hours (plus $20 from a second place in a Sit'n'Go as well). Thursday: Up $25 at $0.5/$1 fixed limit in forty minutes. I also entered the Steps Challenge there. I tried Mini Steps, you enter at Step 1 for $5 + $1 or buy in directly at higher levels, in a ten-seat Sit'n'Go. The winner or top ranks go on to the next step and so on, up to Step 5 where the payoff is. $2000 to 1st place (down to 5th place), which you can reach with a measly $6. And the good thing is that you have to be very bad to drop out. Once you've entered in the steps, depending on your placement you're not completely knocked out, you loop back down to Step 1 or the previous level. Seriously, check the desciption at the link.

So, I entered at Step 1. Won it! That meant I got a freeroll into Step 2, where I'm sad to report that I didn't do too well and finished 8th. But not out, I'm back to Step 1. Played another one, finished 4th and could then "Try again Step 1". Today Friday I did try again, yet again finishing 4th and still can try again at Step 1. For just $6 you can have a shot at $2000 to $200. And that's just the Mini Steps. At Step Higher you can go for $25000 for an initial buy-in of $30 + $3. So if you're a reasonable Sit'n'Go player, give it a try.

But that's not all I have to tell you today... Expekt, a Prima Poker Network skin, will be holding the online poker Swedish Championship final in November. They will be having monthly satellites where one in five entrants go on to the final. And also weekly subsatellites where one in five go on to the monthly satellite. And I entered the very first subsatellite today, for $10.

I won't retell hand histories, but there were a few iffy situations. OK, 791 entrants. One in five go on, remember? Soo, the first 158 get a place in the monhly final and 159th gets his $10 back.

Ahum, ahem, ahaw. Twentyseventh place! I'm going to Disneyland the monthly final! And from there to the final with a $500000 prize pool guaranteed (could be more) with at least $125000 for the winner. Yeah baby, big time booyah!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Why oh why

Yesterday was the XIVth biweekly homegame, this time with my new tabletop.

Five participants. As I've written before, we've adjusted the parameters to maximize play. Start with 25/50 blinds and 3000 in chips. Progressive rebuy so if you make a rebuy you don't get 3000, you get a few hundred more, depending on what round it is. This to give the rebuyer a fighting chance since the others have more. It's supposed to be an enjoyable little homegame, not cutthroat knockout freezeout highrolling yadda yadda.

It seems like everyone was chip leader and/or raked in a monster pot at one time or another.

Some fun hands I was involved in:

  • I have 2, 6 clubs in an unraised Big Blind. Two clubs on the flop and another on the turn, giving me a flush. Bet heavy, called, bet heavy, called. Opponent turns over three of a kind, tens (and he had one (1) club). A few thousand to me, thank you.
  • Heavy betting all around, but no all-ins. Finally there are four clubs on the board, the highest of which is a ten. At the showdown, I'm first and I show a flush, Jack high. Player after me smirks and turns over flush, Queen high. Last player grins and turns over flush, Ace high. Hilarity, congratulation and applause ensues. Even more so when yet another (who folded after the flop) says she folded the King... of clubs. Stupid Royal Flush for being fragmented among all the players and board cards.
  • I don't even recall what I had. Nothing good at least, maybe a flush draw or an Ace. Anyhoo, the flop has a seven in it. Turn is a two. River is another two. XX722 on the board. You know what the opponent had. Yes, he had 2, 7 off-suit. Full house deuces and sevens. The Hammer!

I was out at fourth place. Had a massive chip lead for a while but I wasted it on medium starting hands folded after the flop. A little bit too much chasing.

Doc won again, against Mr Ace-flush + 27-house (who really earned his spot today, he was worth it).

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Shindig poquer

Wow. I resumed playing at PartyPoker. Maybe the Cashout Curse has an antonym in a Deposit Blessing?

You see, I transferred a $65 bonus to the account and also made a deposit and got a $50 reload bonus. I then sat down at a 0.5/1 fixed limit table with $25 and played wonderfully. I left the table two hours later with $101! "They" say you should/could make a 3 times the BB profit per hour easily but what about 30 times, eh? Howzat?

I then went to a $10 ten-seat Sit'n'Go. Second place, $20 profit.

So, by clicking buttons for three hours, I'm 65+50+75+20 = $210 "up" in a single sitting. Not bad for a low-limit hobbyist.

Come join me at the party:

Or use signup code MARTYPARTY for a 20% bonus up to $100 on your first deposit.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Home game family pot

Well, now I've played poker (tournament Texas Hold'em) with the family and I turned a profit, although I didn't win all the times we played. Won the first tournament, then we played two more. Another day, I won the first but not the two subsequent.

My father only had two or three modes, inspired by an amateur in a Swedish televised poker tournament; fold, limp or all-in. Risky business. But when I had J9 on hand and the flop came AJ9 I had two pair and immediately called his all-in. Of course, then he had AA on hand.

The very last time we played, it was me and my sister heads-up. I get AA! The flop comes 4, 4, something. The nut two pair. All-in! Nope, sis had Q4 and no more help for me.

Oh yeah, I brought the octagonal tabletop, it was greatly appreciated. Even by my eight month old niece who in a baby seat by the table vigourosly thumped and tapped the table, mimicking our actions. "Hey kiddo: A) You're acting out of turn, B) You're not even in this game."

We went shopping the day I went home. Some clothes for me and I found some more poker equipment, a metal box with two decks, a poker mat and 200 chips. For travel? Only $10. I used the poker winnings to buy the niece a denim jacket and trousers, to compensate for all the fluffy frilly pink stuff she usually gets.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Not playing poker for a living

Played in some large multitable online Texas Hold'em tournaments.

  • 69th of 229, 30 places paid
  • 41st of 6514, 30 places paid (freeroll)
  • 47th of 383, 40 places paid

Close but no cigar.

It was a welcome break from the grinding at fixed limit tables, where I've experienced a minor losing streak. Cashout curse, perhaps? ;-P Finally proper poker, with only three or four players tops at the flop. The strategy of Raise-or-fold plus only playing if the hand is made on the flop or has several outs (and draws to straight or better) worked very well. What knocked me out was (as often) situations where I had the best hand at the all-in situation but was outdrawn, or the winning hand was just one step better. For example turning a Jack high straight with a flush draw and meeting a Queen high straight. Pocket rockets against trip deuces. KA suited flopping pair of aces, meeting trip Queens. Nines full of Jacks versus Kings full of nines. But to be fair, that was often the situation early in the tournaments when I was the winning player. It's very nice to flop two pair, deuces and threes, in the big blind and pulverizing a KA going all-in with nothing (well, Ace high obviously).

I totally agree with this Cardplayer Magazine article.

I also found some fun forms of NL THE to stave off the boredom of folding folding folding in fixed limit. Fast Play, which is different from Turbo (where the blinds increase faster). In Fast Play, in addition to faster increasing blinds, you also have less time to make a decision (ten seconds or so, instead of twenty to thirty). It's either Check!, Fold! or Raise! and you mostly only have time for raising with the default choices 1*, 2*, 3* or 4* the big blind or all-in. Also, heads-up tournaments. Instead of entering a one-on-one with $X plus the table fee and just doubling up minus your table fee, for example eight players enter with $X and the table fee and the winner from a heads-up goes on to meet another winner. Winner takes all, so if eight players enter, if you just can win three heads-up in a row, you octuple up (minus your table fee).

My octagonal tabletop, a bonus from an affiliate, finally arrived. It will be put to use this weekend, at the first *mumble* family poker tournament and on Wednesday at the biweekly homegame.

I ordered cheap ADSL (0.5 Mbit/s), so in a while I can play from home, I only have modem (56 kbps) now.

My poker plan for the summer is to:

  • Keep grinding with the bonus money I got at two sites (and maybe use a reload bonus if offered).
  • Take the surplus from a mutual fund I sold to finance buying in on an IPO (sounds advanced, eh, but I'm only buying the minumum amount of shares) and adding it to my "poker money" (cash is kept in the wooden box with the four suits painted on the lid) and going for bonuses, this time maximizing them. Usually it's "20-25% up to $100" so you'd need around $400 to deposit and cash out. If you can get merchandize as well (equipment, clothing, vouchers) that's a plus.
  • Going back to a certain site and starting up again since I got a signup and free money.
  • Maybe more affiliate stuff. Next to no work at all, possible payoff.
  • Live poker; The local scene and maybe also a few clubs in the nearby region. What would be really sweet would be to go to the real casino for a tournament, but it's logistically challenging. Only a few seats (30 usually?) and you have to register in person. You can preregister a week in advance but it still has to be done in person. So the situation could be that I'd travel 130 miles at the day of the tournament, walking up to the counter and "sorry, sir, we're full". I've played quite a lot of poker but I still haven't played at an oval table with a real dealer.