Archive for April, 2009

The Daily Dollar

I’m always amazed at what I find when I actually look around a bit.

Since I already won my way into the $750,000 satellite on Full Tilt I was sitting there looking for something else to use my Full Tilt points on an ran across a Sit n Go for the Daily Dollar.

For a mere 50 FTP’s I was in a 9 person SNG for one of two entries into the Daily Dollar. I ended up winning a spot on my first try, much better than the 8 or 9 it took me to get into the $750k tourney.

Entry fee for the tourney is only $1 as you may have guessed, and it has a $10,000 minimum prize pool with a maximum of 12,000 entries. There were only 6,400 for this one so there was a bit of a layover.

The tourney pays the top 1080 place though. That’s better than 10%, sure the first 400 or so spots only pay $2 or so, but the top place is around $1600

The tourney has a great setup in my opinion, with 3000 starting chips and very reasonable blinds and levels, there is enough time and chips to play a way more interesting game here and I will definitely try and make this tourney a habit as there is very limited risk on this and could have the possibilty of a very nice pay off if I manage to make a deep run one day.

Tripled off the cash on the first try and won another ticket today though I won’t use it as I’m going to kiss goodbye to my 30’s…*sigh*


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Satellite Tournaments

As the WSOP will be starting up really soon most of the poker sites have a bunch of Satellite Tournaments going on to win your way into the Main Event or one of the many others.

If you don’t know, a satellite tournament is one that has a lower entry fee and the winner would get a entry into a higher event. Many of the players that play in the $10,000 main event at the WSOP for instance don’t buy in the $10,000, but rather win a ten person SNG for $1,000 each or a bigger field tournament for an even smaller amount.

I’ve played in a bunch of the FTOPS tournaments on Full Tilt Poker and for the most part have just cashed out the ticket when I have won an event and kept trying to win others.

Well that ends now.

I finally won a ticket to the next round in the Full Tilt points tournament that gets you into the $750,000 guaranteed.

I mentioned before that my friend the Mouth has won a couple of these but I have never managed to get to first on one of these. As a session of playing cash games will get me enough points to for an entry into at least one of the lower tournaments now, either the 20 or 50 FTP levels, I try and play at least one of these while I play cash games.

You need to take first place in these to move on, no small feat for sure as there are 54 or 180 players depending on the entry level. I’ve been knocked out from the final table a number of times, often with some really gross hands but that’s the way the cookie crumbles I guess.

I finally managed to make it all the way though. Got to the final table on the short stack and somehow managed to get heads up with a 9,000 to 70,000 chip disadvantage and still win it.

Now I need to finish in the top 100 of the next tournament to win my ticket to the $750k guaranteed on Saturday. This would be my biggest tournament by far and needless to say any type of cash would be a huge boost to my bankroll. A little card luck would be nice here and I think I have improved my game enough to get into the cash here as long as I don’t run into any two outers.

Will report back later about how things go


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The Final Table: Part 2 the big M

A very important part of any tournament is keeping a close eye on the M factor or ratio of both you and the other players at the table

Simply put the M factor of simply M, is the ratio of your stack size compared to the number of rounds the table it would take you to go bust if you didn’t play a single hand.

M=                             Total Stack                    

      Big Blind+Small Blind+Total Antes

The term was invented and named by Mr. Quack Quack Paul Magriel, although the concept was described much earlier in Dolye’s Super System.

In short, the higher your M the better position you are in for the tournament, Dan Harrington has a rating system for the types of plays and hands you need to consider given your M position. A quick breakdown would be:

M=20+: Freedom to play aggressive or conservative as the play and opportunities dictate

M=10-20: Need to start taking more risks, hands with smaller pairs and suited connectors lose value

M=1-6: Two moves, fold or all in

M=<1: Need some luck, you have no choice here, push with anything that resembles a hand

You will need to consider your M at all times with the other discussions about the final table. Both as True M and as Effective M which is the ratio of your M depending on how many people are left at the table.

Assuming a 10 person final table, your effective M is

Effective M=M*(                Players at Table                )


So  M of 20 against a 5 person table is only half, or 10.

I will try and break down the choices that you will need to make given your M in all the following posts.

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When to get up from the table?

This has been a pretty good source of discussion in poker circles for years now.

The general consensus if that if you have an edge in the game you should stay as long as you can because you are giving up money by leaving.

However another noted gambling expert has stated previously that you need to “Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

In the online world I guess you just need to know when to log off?

In a home game setting or brick and mortar I don’t think you have to worry about the players at the table changing all that much, once you get a read on the players you could expect them to hang around for a few hours at least.

In the online world however, at least in the games that I throw down in, the players that are at your table could entirely switch out once or twice in the span of and hour and all the notes and reads you have go for naught. There is also a lot of hit and run players in the online world, well at the lower limits there are, guys that will step in for a a rotation or two, double up on an all in and leave.

I was having a really good session the other night, up on one table quite a bit and the other was a bit over the buyin. Leaving then would have made for a profitable day and a bankroll builder. I decided to leave as soon as I got to two full buyins profit and was just short of that goal when the slide started.

I was in the BB with A3 suited and UTG raised to 4.5x. A bit of a big raise for UTG and at this table at least, so I was thinking either a pair that didn’t want a lot of action, or AK trying to thin out the AQ, AJ, AT, and A9 that always seem to make two pair. Guy had been at the table for a short while and played fairly decent, cbet flops when he raised and generally played top pair strong. He had about half as many chips as me. Everyone else folded and I called.

Flop some A35 with one of my suit.

I lead for a half pot bet and get raised. Well he obviously has an A and not KK, QQ,  or JJ.

I reraise, not a huge one, I want his money in the pot if he has AK

He reraises me.

Yeah, this really feels like AK now.

I pop him again and he goes all in. Perfect, I call.

He turns over AA and I need big time help that never comes, boom almost my entire profit for the session gone in one hand.

Well not really a bad beat as I was behind all the way, could have just as easy been AK though so maybe this was just some bad timing on my part. That’s poker.

Now I could have licked my wounds right there and still been up for the session.

But noooooooooo.

From there I try in vain to scratch back to the level I was at but lose a couple more buyins instead when my Aces and Kings both get cracked, by pretty horrific hands mind you, and the next thing you know I am down a few buyins instead of up a few.

A combination of bad cards, a couple suck outs and not being able to connect a flop or get action when I had a good hand really sets me into reverse. Did I play terribly? No I don’t think  so, but I did play differently for sure. Your mental state has so much to do with how you play the game that you need to be aware of it an notice when it is driving you off your game, not making calls, bets or raises that you should have made because you are playing scared of losing is a sure way to guarantee you will.

In the future I will try and pay more attention to the play and not set numbers as much for goals. Leaving when the cards go dry rather than when you hit a certain number might make more sense in the long run, I guess I’ll find out. So far I’m running dead today for cards and the only time I get big hands it seems to be folded around to me.

The other day on High Stakes Poker 5 Daniel Negreanu said “no mas” and left the game, now he had dropped about $600,000, just a tad more than I did today, but he did manage to realize, albeit a bit too late that he wasn’t playing well and it was time to push away from the table and things were probably not going to get better. I can just imagine the conversation you have with yourself in the parking lot after losing 600 large, I hope I never have to have them.


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