Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Janus hand

As I've had occasion to observe before, memory is a funny thing. What I remember best from last night's session is that I got dealt pocket rockets twice in the second MTT NLHE I played, won the first time I got them, and hit the rail the second. That gave me the idea for this post's title. Pocket aces are truly the Janus hand; they can break you just as easily as they can make you. Looking over the hand histories tonight, however, I discovered that I was wrong in every particular but one :-) I was only dealt rockets once in that tournament, but did hit the rail. Remarkably, I hit the rail in the first tournament I played with the very same holding. Somehow I remembered that lost hand as a win, and put it in the wrong tournament.

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever had what I call "aces out" twice in a single session. My consolation is that at least I made the money the second time :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE      870   130       9    20     978  243   384        0
MTT   NLHE      870   130       6    46     741  192   117     1934


delta: $-66
MTT NLHE massive balance: $21,662
balance: $10,063,396

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The golden percentile

I've brought up the subject of golden ratios many times in this space. Tonight I want to introduce the concept of a golden percentile. It's specific to MTTs. All MTTs on PokerStars reserve money positions for a little under one quarter of the entrants. That means that in order for a player to make the money, he or she must outlast just over three quarters of the entrants. In other words, the player must fall into the 75th percentile. Not surprisingly, that's the number I'm picking as the golden percentile. What I claim is that if you can manage to make the golden percentile in the aggregate, you're guaranteed to make a profit. How do you compute aggregate percentile? I can think of two ways:

1. take the ratio of the sum of players outlasted to the sum of the number of entrants
2. take the average of the percentiles

I'm going with the second method. Running the numbers, my aggregate percentile for MTT NLHE massive tournaments is currently 73.23. Close enough for government work :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   8-Game   4350   650       6    27     101   24    37        0
MTT   NLHE      870   130       9    28     964  243   420        0


delta: $-6,000
MTT NLHE massive balance: $21,728
balance: $10,063,462

Monday, June 27, 2016

Under the lights

Last night, I got under the lights again. That is, I made the final table of an MTT once more. I've been having a nice MTT 8-game run lately; earlier this month, I made the final table in 3 of 6 consecutive tournaments, my best six stretch ever. My MTT 8-game balance is almost back in the blue. Lately, I've been watching Amazon Prime movies while playing poker; I now know enough to pause them if I get under the lights :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   8-Game   4350   650       6   163      84   18     5    23750


delta: $18,750
MTT 8-game balance: $324,690
balance: $10,069,462

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Flushed away

The poker gods have nothing if not a sense of humor. Mirthfully they giveth, and mirthfully they taketh away. In the first MTT NHLE I played on Friday night, I got flushed away. On my final hand of the tournament, I got all in preflop. I hit an ace high flush on the river, but was drawing dead to an opponent who'd made a full house on the turn. The poker gods had faked me out so thoroughly in this instance that I was raising my right arm in jubilation even as the PokerStars app was shipping all my chips to my rival :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE      870   130       9    50    1043  279   297        0
MTT   NLHE      870   130       9    33     885  216   278        0


delta: $-2,000
MTT NLHE massive balance: $22,728
balance: $10,050,712

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lilliputian blue

Last night, my MTT NLHE $1,000 outlay (buy in plus entry fee) balance returned to the blue, for the first time since last October. That balance is now at $24,728. Given the size of my other balances, this one is truly Lilliputian. Ironically, I'm going to call it my MTT NLHE massive balance, since the fields attracted by the low buy in MTT NLHE tournaments on PokerStars are massive. I think I've finally found my poker niche on PokerStars, after all these years. Massives won't make me much play money, but I unquestionably find them the most enjoyable form of poker.

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE      870   130       9   100     949  243    46     3550


delta: $2,550
MTT NLHE massive balance: $24,728
balance: $10,052,712

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mini streak

My best streak of making the money in MTT NLHEs is 13 straight. That one's going to be hard to touch. Last night, I won my third MTT NLHE in a row. Baby steps :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE      870   130       9    71     776  189   144     1741


delta: $741
MTT NLHE balance: $7,108
balance: $10,050,162

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Third best career MTT NLHE percentile

Last night, I rose above the crowd in an MTT NLHE again, finishing 21st in a field of 755. That put me in the 97th percentile, my third best percentile ever. I got there mostly by just hanging in, doing a lot of folding. It's amazing how far you can ladder up simply by having more patience than the average player :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   8-Game   4350   650       6    19      79   18    48        0
MTT   NLHE      870   130       9   108     755  189    21     4348


delta: $-1,652
MTT NLHE balance: $6,367
balance: $10,049,421