Full Tilt Challenge
Somewhat like Martin’s fake cake poker challenge, I am taking part in the challenge with slightly altered rules. Since I am bending the rules, I will acknowledge that Joe, Ryan, Marsh or Austin will be the true winner regardless of my result, I am just hoping for an honorary mention.
Here are my rules, which are admittedly completely unfair. I had just posted $60 on Full Tilt, on or about the same date the challenge started. It was just a coincidence as I bought in before I knew the challenge existed. I do not receive a rakeback, and I am not sure if the cake players do. I play for way too high stakes for effective bankroll management. I started playing at the 10 cent/25 cent level with a full $25.00 buy in. As an action junkie, I knew I would be decimated at the micro stakes level as I would play way too impatiently. I also figured that if I went bust, my worse case scenario was that I would join the cake players and then would challenge Ryan each night for heads up Omaha, a challenge I know he would not say no to.
Here are my results. If anyone cares, I will update weekly or monthly. I would be also OK with a response that I am not following the spirit of the competition, so I am ineligible even to blog.
Grinding it out at the 10/25 cent tables, I built my bankroll up to about $125.00 then moved to the 25 cent/50 cent with a full $50.00 buy in. I built up to $180.00 and then came up with the brilliant idea to practice Pot Limit Omaha on Full Tilt in preparation for my first mixed game night. Before Pot Limit, I never went on tilt once, played a LAG style of NL Holdem, and consistently seemed to win.
Pot Limit Omaha was a disaster for me, mostly because I was clueless, partly because I had bad luck. My bankroll dwindled to $15.00. I went on tilt, played all night, and donked excessively. Back to 5 cent/10 cent, the lowest level on Full Tilt. Tripled up to $30+ dollars, and then moved to 10/25 cent. Nearly tripled up again to $70+ dollars. Key hand was limping from UTG with AJ suited in spades, a golden hand as it is impossible to be beaten by the true Spainer. Raise to 5x the blind from seat 4, 6 handed. Flop has 2 spades. Check, Check. Next card is a spade giving me the nuts. Check, raise, reraise, all in, call. Seat 4 has K-10 of spades drawing dead. Got to love having the best hand with the second best hand right there with me.
Had funds of about $110+ over the weekend winning many pots by someone who would constantly bluff the river with ¼ size pot bets. Called him down as light as AK high and constantly seemed to notch him.
Played some more and made too many hero calls. You need to do this occasionally at higher stakes and at TNP, but hero calls are a waste at small stakes on line. Top pair crummy kicker should just always be released to pot sized river bets. Donk move by me. Down to about $90, then hit another run playing NL .10/25 cent. Up to about $112. New brilliant idea, play some more Omaha, did not learn my lesson the first time. Actually manage to lose but at a much slower rate. Lose about $10 over a 2-3 hour time frame. Stack size of $102. Sunday morning, play 2 sit and gos, $5 buyin, multitabling, 18 person, and 45 person. Bust out of the 18 person when my QQ loses to 77 on a river 7. Major heater on the 45 person, win first 6 out of 7 showdowns, easily cruise into the final table. Get beat by an open ender vs. my top pair, then a cooler, dwindling down to just under 3x the blinds. 2 or 3 lucky all ins later and I find my self heads up for first place. My opponent is aggressive, bluffs plenty, and can sniff out my bluffs. Should be a good match. He has been playing very well and then the following hand is pivotal to the match. I limp from the button with 6,9, relatively equal stacks, about 25x the blind. He calls. Flop is 6,5,3 with 2 hearts. He min bets, I raise with a 3 bet. He calls. The next card is a 9 hooray. Not much better than top 2 pair heads up. He puts in a small bet, I raise all in, he calls. Last card blanks, I show 2 pair and he shows 10,2 suited in spades. A meltdown. Bottom end of the gutshot straight draw???? I go on to win for $85. Bank roll at $176.
I am amazed at the discipline Ryan shows at microstakes. I just am not patient enough to play this way. Most all of the hands Ryan plays are premium hands, I play lots of hands, but usually from position.
I have almost tripled my bankroll, but I will admit, this accomplishment pales in comparison to the frontrunners of the competition, Ryan and Marsh. Nearly doubling up and having the patience to play true Microstakes is a feat I don’t think I could ever accomplish.