Sunday, September 30, 2007

Poker :: La turnamentus tres terriblus

Next lesson - how not to play in cheap live tournaments.

Venue: Reval Olympic
Event: Saturday night $8R

Ok specialty of this tournament is small field (4-5 tables), so unlimited rebuy strategy doesnt work automatically since prize pools are small. Next point is that there are usually two kinds of players - the ones who doesnt care about $8, "easy going" and playing just for fun, and the ones who don't even allow themselves to get the instarebuy at the beginning of the tourney, or the knit ones. There is also third kind - or, really, the one of the third kind - the unique Jesus Ferguson look-a-like type of guy who just splashes around ALL the time by moving in without looking down at the cards for 10 times in a row for example.
My starting table this time included all the good easygoing, couple of knits, MariusLT (who sat directly on my right), and that famous maniac. By the way, recently he played $20R sattelite for a $400 tourney, spent about $600 in rebuys and left before the end of the rebuy period... This is just to illustrate how he plays :)
So first hand, I'm utg+1, have 55, and my friend UTG raises to 120. Well, what a sucker - I know maniac will reraise (he never calls a raise - smoothlimp, or reraise are his only moves:) So I folded, maniac raised to 500, friend called. Flop 45J, friend check, maniac allin, friend call, showdown - A2 vs AT... So this is how its going the first 1.5hours :)
Few hands later got 79s, 6 players in the pot, flop QQ7. Eventually me and maniac were allin at the end of the hand and I lost vs his Q2o - cmon, what are the chances that noone out of 5 other players doesn't hold a queen?.. Pure horror.
Out of two real hands I had during rebuy was AA utg, and I limped - what the f***, maniac ALWAYS reraises a raise. So I had 5 callers again, and was lucky to get J73 rainbow flop, so safely took it down.
Lost quadrupled stack with JJ vs good players AQ vs maniacs blind push T5o after Q fell on the flop. All in all after rebuy period I had just the starting stack - double rebuy and addon :)
After rebuy period ended just was not very lucky - took blinds with LP raises, but when limped 45s after 3 other limpers on the button, BB woke up with smth and raised big. I folded (would need to invest 30% of the stack to see the flop) after BB got two callers, and flop came 236...
At blinds 200/400 and a 2400 stack repushed limper with A7s, got caller from the blinds and the initial limper, and was lucky to triple up on T7442 smth board.
Pulled out one nice kind of bluff when had 46s button+1, and BB was short. There was small EP raise that I didn't notice, so I just announced a raise to steal the blinds. And put in 2000 chips (blinds were 300/600). Then dealer said I cant raise that amount, since EP raise was 1400. So I was forced to miniraise him to 2800. Blinds folded and EP raiser threw his KQ away and left himself only 4k to play. Niiiice, my table image must be very tight/solid after those few first tournaments when I just hit set after set after fullhouse :)
Later doubled up repushing loose UTG raiser with TT, and got called by A8o. Had ~12k in chips at that point.
My friend did several extremely stoooopid things very good to learn from. For example, he got involved in big 3way pot, and on the river had the best hand with ATo on KTxxx board, but at the showdown showed only the ten, and pushed the ace face down over the line - so its a ruled fold. So instead of 15k he dropped to 5k stack. Later he busted with AA vs 77 allin pre when sevens catched a four flush :)
My ugliest mistakes came when we left two tables 6 players each. My table draw was very weak, with no one raising preflop. I had JJ in SB, and there was a raise and minireraise ahead of me. Clear fold, and good one, since they got it in QQ vs KK allin pre. Next hand there's only a limp, so I push the button not even looking into the cards (well, i looked, but it was J7o:) Everybody folded. At that point I sit on 13k stack with blinds 600/1200, avg stack ~18k (couple of huge chipleaders). Also, told my friends that when I will be in BB, im pushing any two if there are only limps in the pot. The BB came, had QTo, and got 3(!!!) limpers and SB completed. And I checked for some reason. What the hell, its 5k already in the pot - what hands those limpers would need to risk their stacks to call 12k more when invested just 1k so far? Terribe terrible check on my side - I suddenly thought QTo is good enough to see the flop, but cmon, its 5way... Flop came 67T rainbow, I led out for 2k with intention to shut down if get any resistance. Got one caller, everybody else folded. I checked his stack, and saw only 700 left, so pushed any turn (that was an ace). Suddenly he showed 3 1k chips behind his arm and called my allin with 89 for a flopped straight. So suddenly I sat on M less than 2 and busted few hands later.
Thats few small episodes how you do not play tournaments live :) Stick to the plan. Don't do stupid things. Don't splash. Trust your instincts. And with final table approaching, use that fold equity you have like there is no tomorrow:)
End of story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sports :: LTU ultra long champs

Its been one week since I injured my ankle and am unable to train or compete, so I gladly joined my club in organizing Lithuanian orienteering championship in ultra long distance last weekend. Event took place in northern part of the country, the weather was extremely warm and sunny for this late in the year. I even got some tan by being whole day in the open air, what conceals the fact that I haven't had any holiday this year;) (working for big company and big projects big deadlines suck :S) Anyway, the event was really great and everything went smooth. Nearly 200 competitors took part. Some of them were disappointed with course planning but thats nothing we could do - we outsourced this task to other club (buggers;) and everything else was OK. Few photos from the event:

Early morning, still chilly, preparing the main tent - adding electricity, wireless internet connections (and we're in the middle of nowhere) for live result updates and other fancy stuff - orienteering is so much ahead of most of other sports in terms of technology usage:)

Men elite gathering for the mass-start. In the horizon you can see our awesome run-in path from the last control - we did even trim all the grass so there wouldn't be any disadvantage for leading runners ;)

The course wasn't easy for sure :)

When your best is not good enough =)

Fooling around with the spare medals after the whole event was finished ;) Bah, damn ankle, can't wait till I will be up and running again... Must be next week :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Poker :: Lousy monthly analysis

Hi everyone. It is gonna to be a lousy month for me. Both the ankle injury and being terribly busy at job messed up everything... As a follow-up for previous post on "average Joe's" 15 month poker venture, here I'm posting a quick overview how I look back at my performance at cash rings after each month (I don't plan any more sessions for September). For example, analysis graph for September looks like this:

I played 6000 hands only, which were just enough to get 4k VPP to maintain the GoldVIP status. I'm not even planing to grind it to PlatinumVIP in nearest future. Most of the time I four tabled, so this makes 250 hands / hour, totaling 24 hours per month. This is really where I thought I'm at - 4-hour long session early Saturday morning (to steal the rest of tired USA guys battered stacks after they bust out late from midnight's tourneys:) and a couple of 2-hour long sessions in the evenings during the work week.
Beginning of the month wasn't too good, but most of those first 2k hands were played "to fill up space" while I was playing few tournaments. From the graph I can clearly see that mixing up tourneys and cash might be a leak that doesn't allow to make the maximum. In fact, missing opportunities to steal weak set of blinds makes HUGE difference in these middle stake cash games. Lets say, if this opportunity arises every 3 orbits (and it definitely arises, if not - that means its time for you to move to other table / go down a level:) and you miss it, it piles up to 2BB/100 hands, or $1k+ if you play 6k hands / month. And its far too easy to miss ALL the stealing opportunities when you have two tourneys going on at the same time - Q3 - autofold, J8 - autofold, and all of the sudden you are costing yourself a fortune in the long run :)
Few last sessions were really good when I finally identified quite a lot of NL6 players as "horrible" and started to pick on them and play big pots, made few big river calls that turned out to be correct, etc. Yet again, looking at the PokerTracker stats I see that my biggest losing hands at this moment are JJ, AQo and T9s - lost about the same with all of them. I should play first two less aggressive from EP I guess, and stop playing the latter one for value :) Funny enough, 86s (that I marked as my fav on pocket fives) in fact is making me 4th biggest profit (after AA, KK and QQ). Last bit of personal advice for mid stake cash is - NEVER go all-in with AK preflop if you expect to get called. Donked couple of buyins (lost races vs QQ and 99) this month in blind confrontation this way and am still hating myself for that. Its so much easier to win by playing post flop poker that you simply do not need to do any open gambling :) Unless you feel like it ;) Jam this 86s in! ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sports :: Club website

After two years of "hard work" our orienteering club finally launched this website recently. Everyone is so happy in the forums etc, but in my opinion its quite weird at best :) Both usability and design are somewhat gay for my liking. Of course I'm holding my criticism only to myself, because I would get expelled from the club and hopefully not get killed if I asked someone at the club meeting something like "don't you think our web page is utter crap?"
And it really isn't, as long as it is updated regularly. I really like the functionality to add in the photos of all club members, for example:) They didn't even ask before adding me too after paparazzing in some relay spectator control, so I look a bit washed down:

These pants have seen more Ariel than an average household is able to use in whole year:) And infact they are dark-blue :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poker :: Good news bad news

Quite a while since posted smth. Not much happening on poker side - decided to fix few other things in my life before comitting myself to goals like getting supernova status or smth like that :)
Had free day on September 1st so played $109 freezout. It went quite good, 360 players in it and with 18 players left I was chipleader but played horribly several hands and busted in 10th, bubbling the final table, so no big payday yet. Interesting thing that I became chiplead after winning huge hand against villain sitting on my left, and after that hand I had ~125k chips, and he had 5k chips with blinds 600/1200 plus antes. Funny enough, he was the one to bust me later:)
Wasted some time playing $5R another day, but finally it became clear that any tourneys with less than $50 buyins are not worth bothering at all - few good hands at my current cash games beat even first place prizes, not talking about other cash games bonuses like FPP etc. So my online poker activities should be more focused from now on :)
Also played yet another live $8 rebuy in RevalOlympic, this time finished 3rd, my best ever and also showed 5th cashing out of 6 times played. These tourneys are extremely soft but really there isnt much new things I can learn anymore I think. Well, at least the prize money will pay for my lunch for the rest of the month :)

In sports department I was doing pretty good, climbed top40 in national orienteering rankings, increased training volume to 4-5h / week (that makes 50-60km of running per week), but it all ended up yesterday where I sprained my left ankle quite bad and renewed my 3yr old injury. However I hope for the best and to be up and running in two weeks, so I would have two more weeks to regain some sort of fitness before the Lithuanian Cup on October 13-14. This sort of injuries are quite upsetting really. But thats poker... ehm... sports :) Bad beats happen :)