Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Rush Poker" for die hard action junkies

FTP has just introduced Rush Poker. It is a ring game where you can play a whole lot of hands per hour because you are moved from one table to the next as soon as you fold so there is not waiting for the rest of hand to play out. And if you are really in a rush you can click the auto-fold button and leave *before* it even gets to you though your cards will look the same to the rest of the table. Stakes are .05/.10 to .25/.50 currently. Tables are averaging about 300 hands/hour! Perhaps ironically, the 6 max tables average fewer hands/hour than the full ring tables.

Not sure how exploitable this is. Is it EV+ enough to basically fold anything but AA, KK, or AK and then shove with a min-buy? Or how about squeezing from the BB pre=flop on any limped pot? Since players will likely be dumping any junk hands does that just make it an arms race between premium hands? I tried to sit down and watch but it is not allowed so I don't know how it plays.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rake and Rakeback

I signed up for Full Tilt so I can participate in the Cake II challenge and I made sure to do a rakeback deal. The best FTP offers is 27% compared to the 33% that Cake gives. I'm OK with the trade off because FTP spreads more games, both in variety and quantity. Marsh showed me HoldemManager and one of the features it has is to show what your earnings are including the rakeback so you can see the graph with and without rakeback included. It is sobering. If you want to see something comical try plugging in your rakeback as 100%, in other words, no rake, just like at our home games. That graph really makes you want to cry.

Nothing new here. We all know the relentless erosion of money that rake exacts on our bankrolls but when you see the disparity illustrated it really drives the point home. I'm sure that I'll periodically lament that extra 6% that I'm not getting compared to Cake but I will have to keep reminding myself that I am OK with the compromise.

Double Stakes Fixed Limit Dealer's Choice

We played the aforementioned format on Saturday. Some observations:

* I liked the change from the normal format.

* I was thinking of doing 5/10 and using $5 chips but I am convinced that it would play WAY differently than with $1 chips so I figured 4/8 would be fine and it would not offend my OCD nature by having 2/5 blinds. I think 4/8 was a decent stake level though I think it still played a little too loose at times, especially as the night wore on.

* I am a donk for making crying calls when I know I am beat just because I know how much it's going to cost in advance. As Marsh pointed out, I was not playing fixed limit correctly. The point is to save chips, especially the big bets. If you think you're behind, fold, don't just spew chips.

* It's a much different game. Not better or worse, just different. There is only so much pressure a player can apply in fixed limit. I didn't get a very 1st person good feel for how the games played at double stakes since I was fairly card dead and didn't get overly involved.

I'm looking forward to the next time we do this. Any other comments on how it went?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cake Challenge II: Electric Donkaloo

OK, I'm in. Last night I bit the bullet and started up an FTP account and topped off the tank to the tune of $100. The first hand that I played put me in the hole when my trip Jacks/Ace kicker lost to, I kid you not, Jacks full of Threes. Ick. But I ground my way back up and am now sitting above water.

I also took the time to review some of my posts from the last time I built up a roll so I can learn from my past mistakes without having to repeat them. I know there are some new Cakers who likely haven't read through the whole blog so here are some links to a couple old posts in hopes that it can help others.

How to lose $30,000, a cautionary tale

Moving back down

It's good to be part of the Cake Challenge this time around. Good luck all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Overall comments from the peanut gallery

OK, I may not be an on line god, but I have had some success and amazingly have not busted out in 2 years of play. So I hope you all take these comments as good constructive advice and wish you all find the road to 4 and 5 figure bankrolls.

I have read Adam Royal and Marsh's blogs. Amazingly, you all picked .02/.04 NLHE as your game of choice with a $100.00 bankroll. I understand Royal as he is a darn good NLHE player, but both Marsh and Adam have had success with PLO and did not attempt the microstakes of PLO. Yes, it is way more swingy and maybe a $100 bankroll can not support it. I will confess I have lost 20 percent or near 20 percent of my bankroll on numerous occassions (probably 5 or 6 sessions) and I am still surviving. Maybe 10 percent is the limit for one night of running bad given the more strict bankroll management you wish to use. So far though it looks like no one is dominating the .02/.04 tables (I know it is still early).

I only see a couple comments of super horrible play by the villains (rivernit) who stacks off with QJ preflop against Adam and another dude who stacks off with 55 preflop. Where is the game selection? It looks like Marsh had the unfortunate circumstance of running bad and finding good players at a .02/04 table. Is there not an option of leaving the table and trying to find a softer microstakes table?

If I find a PLO8 table with OMG Adderall, OJ Didn't do it, hollowman, and I push u pay, I will generally get the hell out. I may be as good as these guys but I do not consider myself to have a material advantage.

Now if I find a table with this bozo I want to stay forever. Playing against Bozo calling station

Adam looks to be running good as he gets it all in with QQ against JJ and AA against 55. But I have yet to see comments like I know I can dominate this table because the players are just awful.

Winning poker is mainly about finding a game that you are better than others or finding a specific table with donks willing to give away their money. Finding these games is not easy but should be the goal of everyone in the challenge.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

When’s the next tourney?

Looking down at the posts below, it looks as if it’s been 6 months since our last tourney. That heads up tourney was a lot of fun, but I’m also open for another format. Of course it’s all up to the host(s).

Is there going to be a SuperBowl tourney this year?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sushi Book update

As requested by Jason, here are the current odds for the Sushi Book action on the race to April 1 for Cake Challenge 2: Electric Donkaloo.

Current odds for a 1 "dollar" bet (remember that odds will float up or down as more action is taken and that return will be based on final odds, not the odds when the wager is placed)

Current odds based on confirmed paid wagers:

  11:10 Martin
 4.3:1 Marshall
 7.8:1 Chuck
 9.4:1 Adam
17.3:1 Royal
17.3:1 Ryan
  30:1 Drew
  30:1 Woody
Action voided*: Mike

As of Jan 25 09:20

Action on Mike has been reversed due use of comingled funds and the inability to be able to provide an audit trail for his bankroll.

Read ’em and weep

That’s right bitches: I’ll teach you all to not bet on the true dark horse.

Let the record show that I am currently in the lead.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Record of Action Last Night on Cake Handicapping

Here is the action I have:

Marsh betting on Marsh $20 @2.7:1
Woody betting on Woody @20 @ 9:1
Adam betting on Adam $20 @ 7.33:1
Mark betting on Marsh $20 @1.7:1
Jeh betting on Adam $10 @ 7.33:1
Chuck betting on Mike $5.00 @8.09:1
Jeh betting on Mike $5.00 @8.09:1
Chuck betting on Chuck $5.00 @5.25:1
Adam betting on Mike $5.00 @8.09:1
Adam betting on Marsh $5.00 @1.63:1
Adam betting on Chuck $5.00 @5.25:1.

The race will be between Marsh, Adam, Chuck, Mike, Woody, and Royal.

The winner will be the person with the largest bankroll from their starting roll of $100.00 on July 1, 2010.

If anyone needs me to fund their account please contact me at jasonrobertgill@gmail.com. I believe I need your screen name and your email address assigned on cake. I can then transfer money into your account from mine and you can reimburse me at poker.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cake Challenge II: The Cakening

It has been over a year since the last Cake Challenge.

I was just browsing over some of our blogs for it, and realizing how much we all learned and gained from it. I have been fooling around a bit online, but mainly been focusing on live play as of late. Some of our most regular players (Chuck and Woodrow for example) weren't really around for the heyday of the Cake Challenge.

I am proposing the Cake Challenge II today. I am going to lay out some groundwork for it, but I think anyone who is interested should give their input, and we can pick the terms as a group.

For me, there are 3 main reasons to do a challenge like this.

1. Motivation. I am a competitive person and always seem to do better when I am being put against someone else than when I am on my own. I doubt I am the only one in our group that feels this way.

2. Bankroll Management. The #1 most important factor for the Cake Challenge is simply managing your bankroll properly, which is a skill that has applications in real life poker and also outside of poker.

3. The Grind. One of the most important things in poker is just putting in the hours. This often goes overlooked, but if you want to succeed at poker, you have to be willing to put in the time, and this urges you to do that.

So here is the deal as I see it:

You start with a set bankroll. In the first challenge we started with $50.00, but I think maybe $100 or $200 is more appropriate this time around. This initial buy-in represents your ENTIRE poker bankroll for the purposes of the challenge. This means that if you lose this amount, you are busto, broke, out. No re-buys are allowed. You are challenged to treat this relatively small amount of money as if it were your entire net worth.

This isn't easy. You can't have a moment where you just say "Ah fuck it, it's only a hundred bucks" and just punt it off cause you are steamed.

This also means that playing within your roll and game selection will be key.

Last time around, most players chose around 5% of their current roll as the most they were willing to put on the table at once. Percentages for tournaments varied amongst participants.

Part of this challenge is to come up with your own bankroll management system. This can include stop-losses, shot taking, capping your wins etc. You have to come up with something that works for you while protecting your roll at the same time. There are no set rules for this at all.

I am proposing that this happen on Cake again for 2 main reasons:

1. Most of us are comfortable with Cake and the player pool is generally kinda bad.

2. Rakeback.

The downside to Cake is that they don't allow HUD's on their site. (Although Hold'em Manager does work now for capturing your own data and analyzing it).

One other part of the challenge is that you are expected to keep track of your progress accurately (again, HEM should be great for this).

So who is in?

For those interested, what do you think the buy-in should be? Any other suggestions?

Limit Hold 'Em -- Flopped Trips

Setting aside the fact that most (all) of you stay away from Limit Hold 'Em, I still play it often (~ once a week) and would like your input on a hand.

A little background that may/may not be relevant. I play $8-$16 (sometimes, $4-$8) at Diamond Lils. From 2005-2008, $8-$16 @ Lils was a great game. The biggest game in the house was $12-$24 (meaning, the better local limit players went to the Muck), and $8-$16 was more the game that $4-$8 players went to "stick their toes in," rather than the waiting spot for $12-$24 players. As such, it was a very easy game. I could sit on my hands playing Adam ABC poker and rake it in (relatively speaking). More recently, it's become a much tougher game to beat (or, I've gotten considerably worse), as Lils is now dominated by $20-$40 players (Lils introduced that game about 2 years ago), and there are fewer "lower limit" Limit players left, at least at Lils. Accordingly, the $8-$16 game is often populated by a fair number of $20-$40 players waiting their turn.

Ok, so here's the hand. I had just sat down. Approx 8 hands into the session, I'm in the SB with 5-7d. Two limpers, I call $4 more and BB checks. ($32 in pot)

Flop is 5-5-6, two hearts (no diamonds). I bet out, hoping to induce "raise for a free card" or some other raise..... Somewhat hard to put me on a 5 (only two 5's left, and why would I bet out?). Don't want to check and let draws get there for free and want to build pot. BB calls as does cut off. Other guy folds. BTW, I know very little about my opponents. I don't know the BB at all, and I recognize the cut-off as a $20-$40 player; I think he's solid, but am mostly guessing. ($56 in pot)

Turn is an off suit Q. I bet out again and my two villians call. ($104 in pot)

River is an off suit 9. Being me, I assume at least one of these yahoos might've hit his draw. Or, that one of these two has been slow playing a bigger 5. The latter seems less likely, but I don't want to get raised. So, I check....intending to check call ($16) when one of these two bets. The BB instantly bets and the cutoff raises! How can I be good? If the BB wasn't left to act behind me, I would've for sure called the $32. But I figured one of these two had to have me beat, and with the BB behind, it might cost me three or four $16 bets to find out. Fold.

Um, bad fold (at least in a results-oriented sense). BB, who called the raise, proudly turns over 8-9o for the win! He had overs and a gutshot on the flop and "got there" on the river to make measly two pair. The cutoff had 8-8, which he showed after the BB showed his superior cards first (despite having called the cutoff's river raise). (Pot ended up $168.)

Agree with my play, regardless of result? Let me have it.