Monday, December 05, 2005

MTT weekend report

Executive summary

Net $ results: +$976.11
Events entered: 16
Total entry fees: $902.30
In the money (ITM) finishes: 4 (0/12 in first 12, 4/4 in final 4)
ITM %: 25%
Return on investment: 108%
Avg buy-in per event: $56.39
Total time consumed: 12 hours
Hourly rate: $81.34
High point of the weekend: simultaneously finishing in the 70s (out of 3545 entrants) in the Stars $500k guaranteed and in the 220s (out of 3155) in the Party $500k
Low point of the weekend: simultaneously finishing in the 70s (out of 3545 entrants) in the Stars $500k guaranteed and in the 220s (out of 3155) in the Party $500k (outlasting 6400+ entrants but not cashing for any significant $)

"No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy"

It turned out to be a bad joke that I was planning on playing a "massive" number of online MTTs this weekend. I started suspecting from the first set that I am not well suited to be playing in multiple simultaneous MTTs. The first set of MTTs was intended to be 4, but it quickly became six since the first 2 MTTs lasted a grand total of 5 hands:
1st MTT, 1st hand: folded to MP who raises 4x bb, fold, hero raises to 12x bb w KK, folded back to MP who reraises to 20x bb, hero jams for 75bb, MP thinks until clock has 2 seconds remaining and calls w 88. 8 on the flop. wait, it gets better...
2nd MTT, 4th hand: UTG raises 3x bb, fold, UTG+2 flat calls, hero in MP who reraises 16x BB in MP w QQ, folded through BB, UTG and UTG+2 call. Flop comes KQ2 with 2 suited cards. check, check, hero pushes for ~50x bb, UTG calls, UTG+2 folds. turn comes 4, river comes 4, UTG shows 44.

No, neither MTT was a rebuy tournament.

In the remaining 4 MTTs, I made some bad decisions:
1) called pot size all in bet on turn when 3rd flush card came and I had an overpair.
2) blinded out in turbo satellite (I should ~never~ just blind out in any MTT. I'd rather go down in flames jamming 4x bb with any two cards).
3) called ~1.8x pot size all in bet on turn w K high flush draw and bottom pair against an opponent that I had not seen get out of line. He, of course, had a set and I missed my 7 outer.
4) called all in on river getting 3:1 with 2nd pair

One thing that I repeatedly slipped up on mentally was forgetting which buy-in stakes applied to which table. The hand ranges of typical opponents varies immensely when playing in a $3 rebuy satellite compared to a $100 non-rebuy.

The way I had my windows organized was to have the 4 tournament tables open across the bottom of 2 screens, and the corresponding tournament lobby windows above them. Thus, I would only need to glance up at the tourney window to recall which tourney was which. There were still several occasions when I made a decision at a table not realizing the buy in level.

I had the windows such that they were opened chronologically from left to right with the leftmost being the most newly started tournament. In retrospect, this is a stupid ordering. I should have them ordered by buy-in stakes to aid in the "context recall" speed.

So I was batting 0.000 from my first 6 MTTs. At the time, I was partially blaming my poor multitabling MTT skills but also blaming myself for playing tired. I resolved to start another set when I was well rested. In a testament to discipline, I then proceeded to play 6 hours of 2-4 tabling $10/$20 9 and 10 max. By the time I hit the sack, the sun was already shining.


The "next day" I ran errands for a couple of hours and played a 1 hour session of $10/$20. It was fitting since my planned theme of the weekend was MTTs.

I managed to start my second batch of MTTs early on Saturday evening but was not terribly comfortable multitabling this batch either. I don't recall the specifics of these events too well, but I see from my notes how I finished in a few of the events:
i) got remaining 2/3 of my stack in postflop w AA after my lone opponent flopped trip 2s.
ii) got all in preflop w QQ vs JJ when JJ proceeded to make a straight on the river
iii) flopped set ~under~ set, got all in on the flop.
I have no notes on the next 2.
At that point, I was down to 2 MTTs, and had decided to stop entering any subsequent ones and concentrate on these last 2 (and also not start any ring games). I finished pretty close to the bubble in one event and cashed about half way through the money place finishers in the second. While there is definitely a huge amount of short term luck involved in any given MTT, I felt that I made much better decisions when it came down to just 2 simultaneous MTTs.

After checking on the schedule of the major $200 events, I decided that I would focus on just 2 events for Sunday, the Party $500k and the Stars $500k which both started at the same time on Sunday afternoon.


I woke up a couple of hours before the start of the $500k events and instead of jumping into some ring games, I used the time to reorganize and clean up our apartment. (I hope my wife likes it) I also hooked up the massage chair, that we had not used since we moved a couple of months ago. During the last half hour before the MTTs began, I sat through a nice relaxing massage to start the tournaments fresh.

Well, it turns out that watching the early parts of 2 MTTs is unbelievably boring. So after about 5 tedius minutes, I tried searching for some of the popular bloggers and also the leaders of the PocketFives tournament leader board (savemyskin, jacksup, shumoney, zeejustin, johnnybax, samenole, etc...). Turns out I would have done quite well in a last longer pool with this gang since the majority of them busted out of both events fairly early. SamEnole was good to watch. He got fairly lucky a couple of times, but I admired all the decisions that he made (from what I could see).

In an MTT, there are frequently times that you'll be discarding hands like TT or JJ preflop with a medium size stack seeing too much action in front of you, but then call all in bets from the BB from very short stacks for a non-trivial amount of your own chip stack with a hand like 94o. Such are the paradoxes of MTTs.

Notable things from the $500k events

- The Party tables play MUCH faster than the Stars tables (at least for the first few hours). I averaged 1.5 hands per minute at Party, and 1.0 hpm at Stars.
- Structure for the Stars tournament is brutal. I've read people complaining about this in the past, but I never really appreciated it until I sat down and played the Party and Stars events side by side. The much faster structure just mows down the field at Stars. There was a ~10% larger field at Stars, but the money bubble was burst well more than half an hour faster at Stars.
- the stalling isn't too bad at Stars, and it was not too noticable at Party compared to the regular Party $100+$9 (9pm PST) that I have been playing. At Stars they only institute hand for hand at 1 player before each bubble level.
- fold equity is unbelivably critical at the short-stack-all-in-post-bubble stage.
- during 3rd hour of both MTTs, I had 3x avg chip stack, but was unable to "close the deal". BOO!!!
- Blind and ante stealing near the bubble and even after then bubble burst was noticibly more successful at the Stars $200 event than I am used to. I only have this 1 sample to make this observation from, but at any rate I stole an unreal number of times. During the 3rd hour I managed to get a very large stack (somewhere in top 30 overall chip leaders) by winning a coin flip with the chip leader at my table with 539 players remaining (money bubble was 378). From between 500 players remaining well through 300 players remaining (particularly at the ~400 mark) I was attempting to steal the blinds on average ~2 times per orbit with a success rate that felt like close to 95% (this has to be a short term aberation). Note that this actually worked out to close to 50% of the time that it was folded to me. It was quite strange because each time I had to convince myself to try to steal again. It felt so much like Doyle Brunson's comments on No Limit Hold'em aggression in Super System when he said that he stole so frequently that he thought there is ~no way~ they would fold this time, but still forced himself to be aggressive.
Anyway, this was extremely convenient because it corresponded to the period of time in the tournament that I picked up very few legitimate hands. I was electing to open for 3x bb. I'm not sure if this is the ideal number. The blinds and ante's totalled ~2x bb, so the steal has to work 67% of the time to be profitable.
- I was happy with virtually every decision I made in both MTTs, including one that turned out to be actually wrong, but theoretically correct:
hand #1
- preflop: folded to hero in MP who looks down and finds KQs, hero raises 3x bb (with more than 20x bb behind), folded to CO who jams for 10x bb, everyone else folds. CO is neither very loose nor very tight. Hero calls getting 2:1, CO has AKs and it holds up.
I believe that CO's range is 77+, AK, AQs which Poker Stove tells me that I have 37% pot equity against. I would be happy with myself if I make these kind of decisions every time.

A first for me

In Sunday's 9pm Party $100+$9, there was an interesting hand right on the money bubble. It was a first for me.

hand #2
- preflop: folded to hero in CO who looks down and finds TT, hero pushes for 6x bb, folded to BB who has 5.5x bb. BB sits and thinks and thinks and with 1 second remaining BB calls with AA.
- flop: comes T high, and BB does not improve.

BB is the bubble boy.

1 comment:

PokerSweetHome said...

Congrats Dave, that's not a bad showing for your first ever MTT marathon. 100% ROI .. I'll take that anytime.