Friday, April 21, 2017

The Janus hand

Janus was the Roman god of duality, among other things. There is no hand in poker with more of a dual nature than pocket aces. I hereby dub it the Janus hand :-) Pockets aces can easily double you up; unfortunately, they can just as easily bounce you out of a tournament. I experienced the latter outcome in the second MTT I entered last night, on just the second hand. I'm certain I've never exited an MTT that early before. Let me check the archives ... Shows you how much I know! :-) There were fully four examples of "prior art".

Here's how the Janus hand went down ... oops! I just discovered my memory was faulty again. I didn't have rockets after all. I was dealt a suited big slick (ace king), and paired my ace on the flop. I was up against an opponent who'd been dealt pocket queens. After the flop, I was a 91% favorite to win the hand. Unluckily for me, my opponent spiked a queen on the turn, and his set of queens held up. Out in a New York minute!

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6    70     413   96   136        0
MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6     2      26    8     -        0
MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6    33     362   96   183        0


delta: $-90,000
MTT NLHE balance: $2,537,048
2017 balance: $459,025
balance: $11,876,855

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spoiled by big numbers

Last night, I made a small profit. I deprecated it when I first saw how small it was; however, that was the wrong way to look at it. Even small profits are good :-) I realize I've become somewhat spoiled by big numbers. Last night, I averaged $25 in profit per hand. If I played a live tournament at a casino, I'm sure I'd be ecstatic to make $25 a hand. I'll try to adjust my attitude.

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6    78     141   36    51        0
MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6   107     436  114    24    74700


delta: $4,700
MTT NLHE balance: $2,627,048
2017 balance: $549,025
balance: $11,966,855

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

No ignorant end

When you hit a straight in poker, you need to be aware of whether you have the ignorant end of it or not. The ignorant end is when you complete the straight with the low card of the straight, rather than the high card. In general, you don't want to either bet or call with the ignorant end; you just want to check. If someone else bets, your best course is to fold. Of course, even completing the straight with the high card doesn't guarantee you have the best straight; an opponent might have the same high card you do, plus the card one numerically higher than that. I call that scenario "high end plus" (and let me tell you, it sure hurts to get "high end plussed").

When you hit a straight flush, however, you don't have to worry about the ignorant end; essentially, the odds are so small that having the ignorant end will make a difference in the outcome that you can essentially treat them as zero. That's what I did, in the sixth hand I played last night. I hit a straight flush on the turn, where the board showed four contiguous cards to a straight flush and one of my hole cards completed it on the low end. My opponent, who had me covered, went all in, and I called. A sweet double up :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6   107     430  114    32    63200


delta: $43,200
MTT NLHE balance: $2,622,348
2017 balance: $544,325
balance: $11,962,155

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tournament selection no-no

If you choose to enter a tournament which is nearing the end of its late registration period, you're very likely choosing wrong. Playing tournaments is hard enough without making things harder on yourself. The problem with joining a tournament late is that you're automatically one of the short stacks, and have less time to grow your stack. You'll often be priced out of hands by the bigger stacks. Things can get pretty desperate pretty quickly; you can find yourself out of the tournament in a New York minute. Last night, I joined two of four tournaments I played late, and paid a heavy price - I hit the rail quickly in both. What's worse, they were $50,000 BI+EF ones. I'm making a new poker vow, which is to pass on tournaments with less than half their late registration period remaining.

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6    19      97   24     -        0
MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6    46     475  114   175        0
MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6     9     101   24     -        0
MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6    86     424  114    41    57100


delta: $-82,900
MTT NLHE balance: $2,579,148
2017 balance: $501,125
balance: $11,918,955

Monday, April 17, 2017

Century percentage

Last night, I had another century - that is, another tournament where I lasted at least 100 hands. As I've noted before, it's virtually impossible not to make the money in such a case; I've made the money in every century I've had so far. One number I haven't looked at very much is century percentage - i.e., the percentage of the time I make a century. Currently, I'm 53 for 584 in MTT NLHE, which is just a smigdgen over 9%. Not too shabby :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6   115     157   42    26    98000
MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6    41     150   36    53        0


delta: $-2,000
MTT NLHE balance: $2,662,048
2017 balance: $584,025
balance: $12,001,855

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Another manufactured top ten

Last night's session was a losing one, but I still played well enough to be able to manufacture another top ten from it :-) When I look at just sessions where my aggregate delta for MTT NLHEs is negative, last night's session had the fourth highest average percentile, clocking in at a squeak over 79. Somehow, I joined a 9 max by mistake for my second tournament, but it was a lucky mistake, since I was able to make the money.

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6    69     164   42    46        0
MTT   NLHE    18000  2000       9    70     309   81    43    50000


delta: $-20,000
MTT NLHE balance: $2,664,048
2017 balance: $586,025
balance: $12,003,855

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Perspective

In the last six sessions, including last night's, I've lost over a third of a million play dollars. That seems like a pretty bad downswing, but is it really? Let me check the archives ... As it turns out, that six session stretch is only the 103rd worst such stretch of my career. With that perspective, I can honestly say this downswing is a mere blip on the radar :-)

style flavor buy_in entry players hands entries paid place winnings

MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6    13      99   24     -        0
MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6   123     518  132    39    63400
MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6    45     449  114   137        0
MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6    32      52   15     -        0
MTT   NLHE    17500  2500       6    20     434  114   300        0
MTT   NLHE    45000  5000       6    41     115   30    64        0


delta: $-146,600
MTT NLHE balance: $2,684,048
2017 balance: $606,025
balance: $12,023,855