Thursday, April 29, 2010

JJ Hand Revealed

One hand from the tourney stands out, and it happened with about 125 people left.

Blinds are 10k/20k, with an ante of... let's say 1k. I've got 375,000, and one of the chip leaders is at our table with around 700,000.

I find JJ UTG+1 and raise it 70,000 or 3.5BB.

Folds to big stack, who calls in MP.

Folds around to the BB who pushes for 170,000 total.

I clicked for more time...

What do you do here? What hand ranges do you put MP and the BB on?


Dr. Chako: I push in over the top and hope the big stack folds. Great odds.

Shrike: Peanut butter and JAAAAM!

Waffles: I think the SB is stealing the dead money. Perfect spot to jam.

Schaubs: Golf is fun.


I'm glad you guys took time to comment, or else this wouldn't be nearly as fun to say: you're all wrong! ah HAHAHA! Well, maybe not wrong, but you wouldn't have liked the results.

When the big stack flat-called my raise I was okay with that, thinking maybe he is just trying to push me off my hand since we both have big stacks. When the SB pushes over the top I am pretty sure I have the SB beat with the range of hands he can have, I mean, he can have AA-QQ here, but there are a lot of other marginal hands we can put him on because of the money already in the pot and him getting low on chips.

So, I think I have the SB beat, but now I click for more time and revisit the MP flat-call... and it starts to scare me. I try to put him on a hand, and that scares me even more. Why is he flat-calling me in middle position? AA or KK immediately pop into my head. The only two hands that really make sense for him to have, because I hadn't seen a flat call from MP in the last two hours of the tournament... he wants someone else to call or push over the top.

I am pretty sure MP has aces or kings, but I still wonder if I can fold in this spot. I let the time bank get down, and eventually, reluctantly fold. MP snap-calls with aces. SB has AKo. The aces hold up.

As the hand finished, I was extremely happy with my play. I was almost giddy that I called the guy's hand and was able to fold the best hand I'd seen in an hour. Looking back at the hand and analyzing it, I am still pretty happy with my play, especially realizing there is a difference between flat-calling from MP and flat-calling from late position. I do think my fold is on the weakish side, and a push really isn't a terrible play here on my part. I guess the thing I am most proud of is deducing a read out of the betting, and sticking to that read.

To finish off this hand, I wonder what percentage of the time MP has an inferior hand and folds to my push. What do you think? More than 50% of the time he folds, or less? And if he folds greater than 50% of the time, does that make pushing the right play? If he folds less than 50% of the time, does that make folding the right play? Is there a right play?!?!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Golf and Poker (hand analysis at end)

I'm on both golf and poker kicks as of late. I've got a tee time Saturday at one of the nicest public golf courses in Seattle with a few friends from college who I've never played with, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm not very good at golf, but much like poker, I have some ability, just no consistency or willpower to stick with it and become "good".

Today I didn't take any substitute assignments and spent the middle of the day out on a golf course by my house. The forecast called for 50 degrees and a 50% chance of rain, but I ended up having sun and what felt like 60 degrees from hole 5 on to the end. I was solo, with nobody in front of me, so I decided to try something a little different and play a solo "best ball" style round. I played today for practice, not for a score, so if I felt like I could hit a better shot I'd drop another ball and give it a whack. In some instances this meant hitting four tee shots, but with no one else around it was all gravy. Today's round really was exactly what I was looking for, with lots of practice and even hitting the dreaded driver a few times!

My sexy score (pre-mulligans) was 8 over for the entire round, and a cool one-under on the backside. I started off really slow, and think I should be able to shoot around par on the front side, too, if I hit close to my best shot each time. I parred a few of the par 3's without taking any mulligans, but only birdied one hole WITH mulligans, which seems a bit sad. The birdie hole was the second hardest hole on the course, a dog leg left with a creek about 150 yards out at the dog leg. I hit a straight drive (amazing for me!) which curled a tad left and cleared the creek, leaving me about 120 yards to the pin. I landed a 9-iron about 10ft from the pin and sunk my longest putt of the day for bird!

I tried to count mulligans, but I'm not sure how exactly to count them fairly. Fair and mulligans don't really go together, do they? If I hit a second ball and use the second ball, I count a mulligan stroke. If I hit a second ball, but use the first ball, I did not count a mulligan. If I hit a second and third and fourth ball, and use the fourth ball, I only count one mulligan stroke. By this system, it seems like each mulligan stroke should really count for more than one stroke to adjust accurately, especially when I hit the first two balls into the water and take the third shot, and only count it as one mulligan stroke (which would normally have me shooting 5 or 6 instead of... 2). But when I putt, if I have a six-foot putt and miss it, but make the same putt on my second try, it makes sense to count that mulligan as just one extra shot (because even I can make the remaining 1-foot putt from my original shot).

I had 26 mulligans, which balloons my score up to a much more recognizable score around 100. And that is each mulligan at one stroke, if I push each mulligan up to 1.5 strokes, I didn't have as good a round as I thought! The round did feel good today, and just the confidence of making shots was great for me today, even if it took me three or four attempts.


On the poker front, I played in a $1 tournament last night on Full Tilt and six hours later I finished in 64th out of 8,656, good for $11. It is a lot of fun having hundreds of thousands of chips to play with, especially when you start with 3,000! I hit a 9-hi straight flush within the first orbit of the night, got paid, then knocked the same guy out a few orbits later with AA. Now that I think about it, I don't think I gave any bad beats (outside of knocking out shorties) all night, and only took a few myself, which is odd for a $1 tournament.

One hand from the tourney stands out, and it happened with about 125 people left.

Blinds are 10k/20k, with an ante of... let's say 1k. I've got 375,000, and one of the chip leaders is at our table with around 700,000.

I find JJ UTG+1 and raise it 70,000 or 3.5BB.

Folds to big stack, who calls in MP.

Folds around to the BB who pushes for 170,000 total.

I clicked for more time...

What do you do here? What hand ranges do you put MP and the BB on? Outcome tomorrow!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Rush Poker Round Two

I haven't had a strictly poker post up here in months, and with all the BBT5 hub-bub going around, I've had a jonesing for some card slinging. I found out this afternoon some micro-er Rush tables have been put into play on Full Tilt, and the absence of smaller buy-in Rush tables was a big reason I stopped playing Rush Poker when it began in January/February earlier this year (the stakes were too high for my crippled bankroll). Now the microest of NL Rush tables have nice and comforting 0.02/0.05 blinds.

I sat down with the max buy-in, which comprised 40% of my bankroll and 100BB. Welcome back, bankroll management!!!... I played 102 hands, which probably took 20-30 minutes, and ran my $5 up to $12.14 with pretty decent play and also above average starting hands. I got JJ four times in those 102 hands, only losing once to AJ aipf for $2. I made a hero call with JJ later in the session for all my chips on a Q8754 no flush board. I started the hand with $7 and the villain had me covered, and put me all in for my remaining $3.50 on the river. I called his pot-sized bet on the turn, not believing he had a queen. I'm not sure why I didn't believe him, I guess a pot-sized bet on a non-scary board doesn't make sense now that I think about it. He pushes on the river and my decision to call was based on my turn read, not thinking he has a Q, and trying to stick to my read. If he has a six for a rivered straight, I'm screwed. I felt 75-80% right about calling, so I did and was shown air.

I sat out after the 102 hands obviously happy with my result and promptly started a new poker spreadsheet. Ah... life in the black. I jotted down some notes about my play, such as stealing based on stack size, and re-stealing on position and stack size. I figure the players with larger stacks are likely to be more aggressive than players with smaller stacks, and when it gets folded around to a big stack in late position, they raise about 75% of the time, which makes them a good target to resteal from. I also realize my tiny bankroll won't be able to handle the inevitable swings of Rush Poker, not to mention playing with 40% of my bankroll on the table.

I hopped back in with the minimum $2 buy-in, which is still 40BB and plenty to play with, in my opinion. For the last five years I've always been a fan of buying in for the maximum to maximize my profit, but from a bankroll perspective I think the smaller buy-in should deflect some of the risk of going broke. I also reasoned that with my small stack, players might respect my raises more, if they are thinking along the same lines as me--that bigger stacks are the more aggressive ones. I played another 100 hands and caught some pretty good cards and doubled up with 66 flopping a set and rivering sixes over aces, with the villain having trip aces. Ended up another $3, which is almost the same as my 150% increase from the last buy in. During this second set of 100 hands I also started making a "player note" whenever anyone 3-bet my raise. This never ended up happening more than once this session, but it makes sense to see who is doing this just in case I tangle with them in the future--and to see if they consistently have big stacks, so I can emulate them!

Took a break, and then played one last round of 100 hands, and lost a buy-in. QQ < KK aipf, he opened, I re-raised, he pushed and I didn't like calling, but figured there are enough other hands he could have that make folding QQ there not smart, but I wasn't shocked to see KK or AA. Ended up getting QQ again after buying back in for $2, and getting it all in the middle against AK on a 234 flop and fading 10 outs twice. Ended up down $1 after this last set of 100 hands.

I've got a bankroll of 400BB now, which makes me feel a little more comfortable playing at the lowest stakes... sigh... but we'll see what happens. I remember having a good first night at Rush Poker last time around, then dying a horrible death in the week that followed. I'm going to try and keep the buy-ins small for now, and if the bankroll increases, I'll stay at this blind level, and just increase my buy-in. So far I've been happy that me getting felted was only a $2 loss instead of a $5 loss, but I'm not scaredy cat enough to be blind to the fact that my QQ > AK hand would have made me more money (but ultimately they cancel each other out no matter what buy-in I start with).

I'll be interested to see what other tidbits of knowledge I come across playing Rush Poker, and I'm intrigued to whether or not other people pay much attention to stack sizes, and what information big, medium, and small stack sizes give other players. Are you more or less likely to call a raise from a big stack? Are you more or less likely to steal from a small stack in the blinds?


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photo Week 16: Theft and Garbage Strike

I got my car radio stolen last week. I reported it to the police, mostly just to let them know where and when it happened, in hopes to prevent future thefts. The fact that I drive a Honda Accord that is older than 2000 is the prime reason I got broken into. A student of mine who used to be a car thief, says you can just shave off the bottom of a Honda Accord key, stick it in the lock and jiggle it until the door unlocks. Greeeat. I don't think I'm going to invest in another radio, if that is the case! Bastards stole my $20 racquetball racket, too.

The Waste Management garbage and recycling workers went on strike this week. This is a photo of day 2 of the strike, earlier this week, I'll probably take another photo next week, and for however long the strike goes on, to see if we can get some good garbage accumulation up here north of Seattle. Some part of me hopes that people see just how much garbage they make, and maybe, just maybe, tone down their consumption. Not gonna happen, but one can hope.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Photo Week 15: New Frisbee Game

Well, not really a new frisbee game, but new to me. Stick four poles in the ground, place a plastic cup on top of each one, then throw frisbees at them in teams of two. Everyone has to have a beverage in hand, because as defenders you have a chance to catch the cup as it flies off the pole when struck, to save a point. Cups on the ground are one point each, and a clean throw through the two sticks (in the air) without knocking over either cup is a two-pointer.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Photo Week 14: Cabin Trip

This weekend was going to be a creative writing retreat up at my parents' cabin, but not many people could make the commitment, so it was only Josh and I up at the cabin this weekend. We went for a hike to Boulder Falls this morning, followed by ice cream at the country store ("two scoops" = six scoops), and a round of frisbee golf at the new course in Arlington. I had no idea a frisbee golf course popped up there until yesterday, when we were tossing the disc out at the ball field and kept seeing people tossing discs in the distance, so we investigated.

I still got a bit of writing in Saturday night, since Josh wasn't feeling well and hit the hay early. There was some private stuff that I've written about before, but the only thing that really came out of the writing was that I found the smell of the cabin to be a mix between an old folk's home and a campfire.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Photo Week 13: Pow and Improv

This week was pretty fun! I couldn't find work either Monday or Tuesday, which is the first time all year I haven't been able to find work on back-to-back days. I was a little bummed about not finding work Tuesday, until I checked the Stevens Pass website and found that it had snowed 16" in the last 24 hours. I made a bee-line up to the mountain and enjoyed the best snow all year.

The Tuesday skiing was surpassed Saturday, with another 16" in the past 24 hours! Kristy and I went up yesterday and tried to take advantage of likely the last good snow fall of the season. The skiing was great, but we arrived at the mountain 30 seconds too late and had to park in the "Yodelin" parking lot two miles away, and have a shuttle take us up to the mountain. This is the first time I've ever parked in the Yodelin parking lot, and the experience wasn't all that bad. Riding on the bus reminded me a lot of middle school and riding up to Snoqualmie on Friday evenings:

After skiing on Saturday, I attended my first-ever Jet City Improv show. I've never attended an improv show before, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I've seen "Whose Line is it Anyways?" and did not expect that caliber of comedic genius, and I was not even sure if this improv would be set up in a similar fashion. It turns out that the setup is very similar to "Whose Line?" and the comedians are ridiculously funny. We went to celebrate my friend Jenny's 25th birthday, so of course she got called on stage to give advice on how the scenes should play out:

I can definitely see myself going back and supporting comedic improv in the future, I had an absolute blast. I shouted out a few ideas, and my housemate, Eddie, had a great suggestion when the MC wanted something very unhygienic, Eddie shouted out, "Alanis Morissette!"