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.

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