Monday, August 10, 2009

The key keeps getting lower

Been a mixed week to say the least online. Actually, it's felt like a horror show, it's included my worst downswing to date on Full Tilt (25 consecutive Sit n Goes without a cash), a couple of frustrating nearly misses (twice I got headsup for a GUKPT package, both times I managed to lose), but somehow I've managed to escape from it with a profit overall of $1600. To do that while seemingly running like a zombie with an eating disorder is something of a relief.

Tilt has been going so well for me that there was bound to be a downswing at some point (and most likely just after I post a brag graph boasting how well it's going), but knowing that doesn't make it any less unpleasant or easier to deal with when it happens.

This week online included:

SNGs: Returned to playing some on Ipoker with very good results. Won a few 10 mans and 6 mans. Started really well on Full Tilt, then had the 25 streak, ended wellish. Interesting spot in the last 45 man I played on Tilt. The bubble had just broken. The pay structure is such that there's bugger all difference between 5th and 6th (less than half a buyin), but after that it gets steeper (just under 2 buyins between 5th and 4th, just over 2 between 4th and 3rd, 4 between 3rd and 2nd, and 6 between second and first). The chipleader was a maniac who barely covered me. Between us we had two thirds of the chips. One guy was ubershort (one big blind), everyone else had about 4 bigs. I look down at queens and think "Nice", then the maniac open ships (which he's doing a lot). My bubble factor here is pretty massive (I estimated it at 2 at the time) since he covers me and I can pretty much fold to 3rd place at worst. I therefore figure I need to be a 2 to 1 favourite against his range to make the call profitable. Unfortunately his range was clearly so wide (a lot of raggy aces and lower pairs) I had to just accept that the call had to be made. Unfortunately he had the one hand I didn't really want to see (I ruled out KK+ as he'd surely have played slower), AK, and he won the race. Afterwards I had time to do the ICM/bubble factor calculations in detail and it turns out I should have folded the queens! Even if I think he's shipping A7+, any pair, and KQ, queens only has 70% equity against that range. This much I figured out on the spot: the problem is I underestmated the bubble factor. I've never seen it higher than 2 before in non-satellite tournaments after the money bubble has burst, but this was such a skewed stack distribution that it turns out the bubble factor is nearer to 3 rather than to 2, 2.6 to be exact so I need 72% equity for the call to be correct. So it's a (marginal) fold, and calling is a (small) mistake.

I did instinctively feel at the time that it was pretty marginal and that neither folding nor calling was a major mistake, and in marginal spots I tend to prefer the call, as it makes you less exploitable late on against other regulars who will have stats on how much you call in those spots. There are a few regs I know of who will only call ships with monsters late on, and that means I can profitably ship any two cards into them when I cover them. Conversely, there are other regs who call much lighter than they should mathematically, so in their case a bit of thought has to go into my shipping ranges, which makes them less exploitable.

MTTs: Mostly played feeder sats and supersats. Feedered into all the supers, so although I didn't land a package for Macau, the IWF or a GUKPT, I did win some consolation cash for the near misses making them marginally profitable overall. Big success story was winning a ticket to the $1050 WCOOP event in the Stars money added sat. Played a few and almost gave up as they're pretty crapshooty, but added money is never to be sniffed at so I persevered. They key to the one where I landed a ticket was getting two early 80/20s to hold. After that I pretty much minned my way to the ticket: satellite strategy 101. Played a few normal MTTs and notched up a few small cashes but nothing to get too excited about.

HU: Playing less of this as the Ipoker fish appear to have cottoned on to more or less correct strategy in the superturbos, maing them only very marginally profitable for me. I find if I do a batch and it goes badly it's quite upsetting, so what I've been doing of late is just firing one up when I find myself with some spare time (even when multitabling, if the MTTs or STTs I'm playing are all in the early stages, I'm basically folding 90% of hands pre and doing nothing creative post, so there's a lot of thumb twiddling time once I've clicked the Fold button on every screen). Because I'm doing them on a more ad hoc basis that attacking them in the 20 an hour way I used to, the downswings don't affect me as much. Also, because I'm multitabling while doing them, once it reaches the ship/fold stage, once I've made my decision to ship (or call a ship), I turn my attention back to the other tables, and when I go back to the HU STT all I know is my new chip total, not whether I got lucky or picked up a bad beat. Not knowing whether the other donkey called after you shipped queens with kings or 42o means never having to tilt when it turns out your queens lost.

Cash: Played some holdem, a little PLO, and some razz. All three marginally profitable (razz better than marginal), but I find cash a real grind, too much like working, so I find it harder and harder to motivate myself to do it.

Plan for next week is more of the same until I go to Cork on Friday for the Macau tourney. Also, I'll probably be interviewed on Irish Poker Radio this Wednesday, so you have been warned.


Looking forward to the IPR interview Dara.

Good luck in cork; hoping to snag a sat ticket this week myself.

Good luck in the sat Thomas, hope to see you down there


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