Sunday, February 28, 2010

Slowing down

Couldn't believe it's been over a week since my last post....but not really surprising. I have not been playing my usual compliment of tournaments this past week, and frankly don't see me having time other than the couple of nightly rebuys I've been enjoying as of late, with a few others peppered in as well.

The main reason is that I am buried in work. I'm in one of those cycles where I can't really do anything other than keep focus on work, and when that happens, my poker hobby takes a hit.

At any rate, today is Sunday, and after spending time with my family, I will try and hit up some of the afternoon Sunday tournaments on FullTilt.

On a different note, the L.A. Poker Classic's main event is going on at the Commerce right now. If you haven't heard by now, Joe Sebok lost the last longer bet vs Jeff Madsen & Gavin Smith. Those guys have been making dopey prop bets for some time now, but this time, they have reached an all time stupidity factor. The loser (Joe) will have to have both Jeff and Gavin's face tattooed on his body. Madsen will only have to have Smith's mug, since he came in 2nd. I have only 2 words for Joe and Jeff.... BUY OUT!

The umpteenth new WPT hostess (bring Shana back already!) interviews them here, here, and here.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blah blah blah

Couldn't win a flip holding a pair for the bustout. Blah!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

23.5K Rebuy Final Table

Sometimes, it happens that a tournament is a blur, and I couldn't begin to remember how I made the FT without reviewing the HH's. This is one of those times. I must have sat out a dozen times, just multi tasking and not being able to really give the tournament my full attention.

Down to 2 tables, I think I finally zoned in, and actually paid attention. In the end, I shoved AQ 4 bet over a late position raiser who had me covered. He flipped over 77, and my horse didn't get there. Still a nice little cash for what I had invested in this rebuy.

As I've said before, I'm going to keep banging away at these rebuys, and hopefully continue to have good results.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


I play almost exclusively at Fulltilt. Every once in a while, I will play on Pokerstars, like in the recent Bloggers tournament, of which I only played 2 events. The main reason I like to play on Fulltilt, is because of rakeback. Stars to my knowledge doesn't offer it, and instead has a VIP program. I realize that their program comes with many nice perks, but I really haven't put much thought or research behind weighing the benefits vs getting rakeback from FT. The bottom line is that I rather concentrate my play on one site and get the full benefits, rather than split between the 2, and for the last 3 or 4 yrs, my business has gone to FT.

Having said that, I got an email that Stars is coming up on their 4o Billion hand, and they are going to party it up, as they usually do. What has caught my eye, and thought I'd share is next week's Sunday Million's guarantee will balloon to 4 Million! That's a huge number obviously, and I can only guess the lucky donk who wins it will take home 1Mil +.

I guess I'm going to have to donk it up with them. This will be a huge field.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bubbled the Final Table

Not bad for a little under 2 hrs worth of work! Love me these Super Turbo's!

Of course, what could have been, as I took this beat to bust:

Poker cruelty at it's best!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Royal of the Decade!


Vote results

Thanks to those of you that left comments and sent me emails regarding yesterdays post.

In fairness, I should have given some more context on the villain. Mr Pascual is your regular run of the mill calling station fish. I had extensive notes on him, so my reasoning was certainly influenced by what I had previously recorded in my notes, including hand histories which I will typically cut and paste into players notes as well as my observations.

His play is very straightforward and simple. He rarely reraises a preflop raiser, and post flop, he will call if he has any pair or draw. He will only raise on the turn if he has 2 pair or better, and I had noted his tendency to bluff the river if checked to, esp on missed draws. So maybe if I had given this added info, the results of the poll might have been influence some, but even without that data, only 17% (130 votes) stated they'd fold. Here's how the hand played out:

So there you have it, my read was pretty much dead on, and he got lucky on me obv. I had him on a small to mid pair all along. My check on the river was to induce and make sure he put the last of his chips in the pot. And I am certain had he not hit that set on the river, his chips would have got in regardless.

Thanks again for all's input,


Friday, February 5, 2010

Do you call?

I don't like my bet sizing per se, but lets put that aside for now. There's a little voting module at the end of the hand...not sure how it works, but let's give it a go. Any hand analysis is welcomed.

Results tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The Double Guarantee's finished on Sunday on Fulltilt, and I hope that after the suits analyze the data, they up the daily guarantee's, as with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions, they exceeded the guarantee prize pool almost every time. Overall from their perspective, it was a huge success.

As a player, it was pretty frustrating as I first off missed the first half of the week while I was out of town on business, and then once I got into the mix, it became apparent that to navigate through the basically double large fields, was going to take some real good luck, and for the damn 'statistical expectations' to hold you on the plus side of variance. Every donkey on the site, and I mean everyone seem to buyin at a chance at the larger payouts.

At any rate, the only deep run I managed was in this 47K rebuy:

On a more positive note, I also final tabled last nights 23.5K Rebuy:

In the end, I pushed K9 from the button in the blinds, and the big stack called me with KT. The big stack was a bottom stack when we arrived at the FT, but went on a run, that we can all hope someday will hit when your late in a tournament. Here's a little example to catch my drift:

The rebuys have been where I am having the most success. There are pro's and con's of course. The pro's leading with the fact that you have less players in the field, you get more play after the rebuy period, where you can actually play some deep stack poker, and the prize pools for the amount of players is usually pretty good, relative to the buyins.

The big Con as far as I'm concerned is the field although small, for the most part attracts some of the best MTT players on FT. So although in the beginning you may see some bad players, in which case you need to really think about how to get their chips, in the end, you won't see many of them, unless they got stupid lucky. The reason you will almost always see primarily a difficult field at the end of the tournament is because of the deep stack play. The good players are very skilled at not stacking off, whereas the donkeys do it with very weak holdings.

So I suppose another pro for me, is that the more I play with better players, in the long run will help me improve my game overall. I've been making some pretty sick folds, that in the past I would never even consider. But against a strong field of players, it's a tool you need in your box.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fulltilt latest release notes

If your like me, I'm always searching around for what's the latest when a new software release is made. I don't always get their emails either! So here it is, along with source, info on today's update release.

Taken from Full Tilt Forum's Doug:

A. Removal of Flash - We believe Flash was causing the majority of the crashes and performance issues being reported. Memory consumption should also be much lower. If you were experiencing lots of crashes or poor performance before, try playing now and see if there has been an improvement.

B. New LHH Replayer - The main component in the game that used Flash was the Last Hand History Replayer. While re-writing it so we could remove Flash, we included a few extra features that have been highly requested. The main one being you can now take notes in the LHH Replayer just like any other table. Please report any bugs you find with this new replayer and we'll be sure to get them fixed asap.

C. Auto Post and Auto Wait For BB By Default - Another highly requested couple of options. In the Options menu (or Table Options under Misc) you'll find "Auto Post by Default" and "Wait for Big Blind by Default" checkboxes. They do what they say they do. Less button clicking for all!

Somewhat related but not exactly a new option is a change to Ante tables. Now Ante tables behave like "Speed" tables where Auto-Posting (both blinds and antes) is mandatory. You're put into "Wait for BB" mode right when you sit down and there's a "Sit Out Next BB" checkbox. No more having to manually click Ante for each hand of your final orbit at the table.

D. Stack Tables Layout Option - Under "Tile" and "Cascade" under the Layout Menu on the table, there is now a "Stack" option. When selected, all tables will line up perfectly behind the table you select Stack from.

E. Heads-Up Ring Game Changes - We've automated our policy regarding Heads-Up tables. Now, if you sit alone at more than one identical ring game table, the game will automatically hide all but one of those tables. The one it decides to show is based on stack size, with your biggest stack getting priority. This means CS will no longer be monitoring how many empty Heads-Up tables anyone is sitting at (and nobody has to report anyone either). We'll keep an eye on the situation, though, and if anything starts to get out of control again we may have to further limit the number of different empty table types you can sit at.

F. Hiding Empty/HU SNGs - We've done the same thing in HU SNGs that we did for HU Ring Games above. You can sit at a bunch of the same empty HU SNG, but only one will show at a time. We also changed all SNGs to only show one completely empty SNG at a time (previously if someone registered for 10 SNGs and left them all, they would all sit around looking ugly in the lobby).

G. New Find Player Lobby Widget - So you don't have to keep hitting Ctrl-F, you can just use this widget to find players. Look for it in the Customize Widget area.

H. Improved Large Tournament Performance - We've further improved performance for large tournaments. If you were experiencing issues with Big Little Tournament or FTOPS Warm Up sized MTTs, you should no longer have a problem.

I. Tournament Deal Modification - We've changed who gets "control" of tournament deals by default. It used to be the largest stack. Now it's the player who will be getting the button next.

J. Restore Disabled Pop-Up Dialogs - If you ever clicked "Don't show me this again" on a dialog and want to see it again, use this (found under the Options menu) and all of your disabled pop-ups will show again.

K. Display Images for Folded Cards - Instead of the old "5c 8h" text to show you what you folded, we now show the cards themselves when you hover your mouse over your pod.

L. Small Rush Poker Changes - There is now an "All" games option (which is now the default), so the Rush PLO should get more attention. We've also added "Medium" stakes to the default stakes option, so the bigger NLH Rush games should also get more visibility. You'll also notice as of today we're spreading an additional stake level of PLO and some new NLH w/Antes Rush games!

M. Standard View on Netbooks - Speaking of Rush changes, we've made it so you can now use Standard View even if your resolution is a little too "short" for the full lobby. Since most netbooks are 1024x600 and Standard View needs more than 600 pixels from top to bottom, the very bottom of the lobby will be cut off. It is usable, though, and you'll now be able to play RushPoker on a netbook! (800x600 netbooks will also "work" with Standard View now but it's certainly a less than optimal lobby experience, sorry about that.)

N. Bug Fixes - Tier SNGs now count as "Satellites" in Advanced Filters, so you can get rid of them from your filter easier. Auto Top-Up no longer tops up to the max in a Cap NL/PL game, it treats the Cap as the max. The Find Player dialog now remembers where you last left it.


1. Can you implement a self-exclusion mechanism that would allow a player to exclude themselves from only certain types of games? For example, HU?

- We do have a couple of new self-exclusion type features coming at some point, but I don't think that's one of them.

2. Also what is the new rewards program? When is it coming out?

- Nothing new to announce on this front, sorry.

3. Will you please add NL HU tables below 25NL?

- I'm not going to say it's never going to happen, but we don't have any plans for lower stakes HU tables right now.

4. Can you make the tournament clock stop during hand for hand play? I believe they do this in live poker and this will really help the structure in 90 man turbos since you can go through a whole blind level hand for hand.

- I'll look into it.

5. I don't think it's been asked in a while, how about a buddy list built into the software?

- It's a likely future project, yes.

6. Can we plz have a $24+2 HU tournament that doesnt start at 11.30 GMT .. something in the afternoon for us euros maybe?

- We'll try to find a spot, probably sometime after FTOPS.

7. I note in the rush lobby there is an option to browse players and search for players. However, can you please add the functionality to allow players to open the notes or, at the very least colour coordinate, players they search for.

- Maybe. It should be much easier to make notes on players now that you can do it from the LHH replayer, though.

8. does anyone else find that the preaction buttons require you to be more precise to click? like before you could click in the general vicinity of the box and it would check, but now you have to click right on the little square in order for it to recognize what action you want.

- You're right, we did change that. The problem was that if you clicked just to the left of one checkbox you could mistakenly click the wrong one. We possibly went too far in how small we made the click area, though, so we'll find a happy medium next time.

9. As one of the biggest fans of the older deep tables - I don't see what purpose they have anymore. ... If people want to play deep poker they'd just play the ante games.

- We'll keep an eye on this for sure. Consolidating Deep and Deep+Ante tables into just Deep+Ante tables might work fine, but if there are enough players who like Deep only we don't really want to take it away from them.

10. would there be any possibility to auto-go-south after each hand as well as auto-top-off in Rush Poker so we would be able to start every hand with exactly #BB's we want?

- This is unlikely to happen. The fact that it's as easy as it is right now is just a side-effect of how the game is played and wasn't an intended feature. We consider the fact that you almost always have to pay the BB after doing it as a nice, small deterrent against doing it every time.

11. Can re-developed Hand Replayer (minus Flash) have buttons to take action straight to Flop/Turn/River please?

- This version doesn't, but we do have some future improvements planned, and I'll make sure that suggestion is considered when we start thinking about which to implement.

12. I don't see these higher buy-in super turbos. Are they there?

- I might have spoken too soon or was thinking only about heads-up or matrix. I'll look into the normal single table super turbos.

13. Will rush poker be available in classic view some day?

- I don't think so. We're very likely going to work on a smaller version of Standard View that will eventually replace Classic View.

14. consider HU rush poker please?

- We are considering it based on the number of requests we've received so far. No short term plans, though.

15. I'm going to repeat my request for more tournament options using FTPs. Super Turbo SnGs would be great. Using FTPs to buy tournament entries valid for things other than enormous NL Holdem MTTs would make me even happier.

- No immediate plans for this, but we do have longer term plans that will allow you to use FTPs for a wider variety of tournaments.

16. can you please adjust the way the $70+4 superturbo 750k sats go off so that they are included in that first sync break at 55 after. For example in 5 minutes theres one at 15:48 that will miss the break so I am skipping it.

- I'll look into it.

17. Please add a "Sit out next Big Blind" button to Rush. It is silly trying to guess when you will or will not have to pay next. I want to pay my blinds, and then play for free until I have to pay the next blind and I will sit out.

- We considered this, but when we thought through all the details it slowed the game down too much to have that option. A table fills up and then it's decided who gets the BB. If all of a sudden we lost the person the BB was supposed to be assigned to, a new player would have to be brought in and the decision made all over again (possibly losing that new player as well if he has Sit Out Next BB checked). For now you'll just have to count to 5 or 8 (or 4/7 if you want to be safer about it).

18. can we please get a $200 weekly razz mtt

- We're looking into it. We'll probably add a couple of these type requests after FTOPS.

19. please make the quick-fold button bigger

- When we do our first real round of Rush updates, I'll be sure this is one of the proposed changes.

20. When is Rush poker going to have .01/.02 and .02/.05?

- I'm not sure. I'll be sure to bring up all of the requests for new Rush stakes when we next discuss which new Rush games to offer.

21. [Anti-datamining discussion] So make all tables but red pro and highest stakes no observers.

- That's certainly the "Nuclear Option." We aren't done fighting with conventional weapons yet, though. There's a lot of value in allowing new players the ability to observe any game they want, so we don't want to go that route if we can at all avoid it.

22. more fixed limit O8 MTTs pleeeaaaase

- I looked into it! We're planning on adding some stuff after FTOPS, including more O8 MTTs.

23. Looks like if someones loses his stack he can rebuy to 20bb. Saw this couple of times today. A bug?

- Not a bug. There's a "one short buy" rule where a player that has gone bust can rebuy once for half the normal minimum buyin. They can only do it once and only if they go broke. This is similar to a lot of brick and mortar card rooms.

24. Is there any way you can make there be a quick fold button while you are in the big blind?

- Sorry, no. I understand it's pretty frustrating sitting there with a terrible hand wanting to move on to the next one right away, but we don't allow players to throw away their hand when they have the possibility of checking. In fact, if we allow it there's a weird edge case where if you Quick Fold and then get a walk and win the hand it's unclear what to do. One thing we'll definitely do is add a "Check / Quick Fold" checkbox below the normal "Check / Fold" checkbox so once there is a raise to will be immediately moved to the next hand.

25. Some sort of leaderboard + rewards for rush. Based exclusively on the biggest stack so it's good for fish and regulars alike, and also encourages everybody to play on when very deep.

- That's been suggested a few times, and we'll look into what we can do during the first round of Rush updates. It may not make the cut, but it's definitely an idea worth considering.

26. Could you allow early registration for non guarantee tourney? maybe 5-6 hours before it starts.

- I'll look into it. We might extend it a little less than that (maybe to 2-3 hours) to start just to see how it goes.

27. Is it possible to keep your stacks longer at your own solo table after having sat out. I went to get something to eat and came back to see myself booted off my own solo table without the ability to sit back in with my deep stacks.

- Yep, another strong candidate for the first round of Rush updates. We'll probably go to 1 hour instead of 15 minutes.

28. Is there any schedule/plans for adding higher stakes rush poker ?

- $1/$2 is the highest we're planning on going for the short-to-medium term. Beyond that is still up in the air.

29. please make it against TOS to use a HUD with RUSH. HUDs will ruin the game imo

- I've seen this requested a bunch (including the longer, separate thread) and I'm afraid I have to be the bearer of bad news and say we don't currently have any plans to make HUDs against the TOS in Rush. We did think about it during the development of Rush, and given our current rule set stating that it's okay to use information from hands you were directly involved in, it didn't make sense to have one HUD rule for non-Rush tables and the opposite rule for Rush.

We understand that the use of HUDs is a controversial issue and we're definitely thinking about different ways of satisfying players who want to use HUDs and players who don't want to use HUDs, but for the time being we aren't planning on introducing any new anti-HUD rules. We do think in larger Rush pools the effect of HUDs should be minimized, but we're certainly keeping an eye on the health of all of our games. Rush Poker was never intended as a way to stop HUDs, it was just a (temporary) side effect of the implementation of the game.

30. Will FTP consider increasing the CAP on NL&PLO tables to 50bb?

- No plans for this.

31. Out of curiousity, what's the minimum player pool for rush to work?

- 2! To keep the game moving as fast as possible, though, it's a few tables worth. Currently the "Quick Fold" button is disabled in pools with fewer than 18 unique players, since it turned out to be fairly useless in pools that small (you'll have to wait for the next table to fill up anyway, so you might as well wait for the action to get to you first). Any pool with 30+ unique players should play plenty fast, though.

32. Could you please create a "Playing History Audit" feature that allows you to request a spreadsheet that documents all of the relevant data regarding your play on the site over any given period of time.

- I'll look into it.

33. Can you please, please, please change your policy about leaving late reg open until you meet the guarantee?

- We don't have that policy. Late reg always lasts an exact number of levels (unless the tournament fills or is a shootout). Unfortunately, we aren't displaying in the tournament lobby how many levels that is, so it leads to confusion. For example, the $750K stays open for 4 full levels, where most other guarantees only stay open for 1 or 2 levels. Hopefully we'll make that change (and the other late reg change allowing players to register during a synchronized break) sometime in the next few months.

34. allow the user to choose to always display the type of game like it does in Mixed Games

- We can probably do this. I'll look into it.

35. What happened to the micro heads-up cash tables? They were mixed limit and started a few months back. They're gone already?

- I think they were actually added in error, and when the 7-Game and Mixed Hold'em changes happened last update, they were removed. Sorry about that.

36. The client is a real resource hog on Win7 -- memory usage is nearly 200MB which is nearly 2x ehshell aka the TV window. Changing apps will often cause me to time out of a hand...

- How does it look now without Flash? Memory usage and performance should be much improved. Please let us know if that's not the case.

37. You're missing NLO8 6-max shallow tables.

- Fixed.

38. Please color code the lobby so I know what tables I am waitlisted on and which I'm sitting at.

- This is coming, although it's been delayed a bit. Should be within the next [mumble] months, though.

39. PLO8 rush please!

- We'll see!

40. Can we get rid of these annoying chat messages that a $10+1 MTT is starting in 10 minutes?

- Eventually we plan on separating out the tournament system messages from the other kind of system messages (which are normally more important in nature). Once we do that we can add an option to turn off the Tournament messages.

41. how long should we keep our FT clients open to be sure all HHs are written out to local hard-disks?

- Usually 2-3 minutes should be enough, but if you're really paranoid, just wait 10 minutes and you'll be sure all hands are done and written out.

42. When I get to the bubble of a SNG, lag or crash is now standard.

- That's extremely non-standard, even before we removed Flash. Let me know if it's any better after this update. If not, there has to be something going on with your system that really doesn't get along with FTP. If that's the case, we can work with you to figure out what the issue is and try to solve it.

43. Please make something like this [Tourney Info Bar] or similar happen, as there isn't enough room to have lobbies and/or Touney info windows open when you are 12+tabling

- We're looking into it. Probably wouldn't be any time soon, but certainly enough people like the idea that it has a good shot at being developed.

44. Dont know if this has been asked before, but is there a reason that we can buy into Mini Ftops with Full Tilt Points but not Ftops?

- We'll look into changing this for the next FTOPS. To be honest we just didn't think there would be enough demand.

45. the top two seats on the table (racetrack) either move up or down slightly, and they continue to do so (ever so slightly) until they either creep a full inch above or below where they should be. It's really odd.

- Yep, that was a good bug. Should be fixed in today's update. Sorry about that.

46. Plans on adding Super Turbo heads up shoot-out tournaments?

- No, but I like it, we'll look into adding a couple post-FTOPS.

47. Could you please either turn down the sensitivity [of the tool tips], or provide an option to turn these off completely, or move the popup location so it's not over the betting window, or all of these?

- I'll see what we can do.

48. Is there ANY GOOD REASON that sitouts are NOT indicated in mtt's @ tilt?

- There are some angle-shooting possibilities by putting that message on the pod during a tournament. However, with this update, it's now shown in the pods of the LHH Replayer which players were sitting out the previous hand, so it should be easier to check who is sitting out.

49. when is the motorola droid security app coming thanks

- It should already work (although it's still beta). Which specific phone are you having issues with?