Monday, December 19, 2005

Sleepless in San Jose

I didn't sleep well this weekend mostly due to disappointing poker results. That is not a good sign. I am not good at clearing my mood - good or bad - after finishing any late night session. I ended up needing to watch the boob tube or to read a novel to wind down. Quite a time waster.


Anyways, how about the poker?

My weekend poker exploits primarily consisted of 7 online MTTs and a very small amount of $10/$20 6 max - essentially another MTT weekend.

MTT results
Net $ results: -$1195
Events entered: 7
Total entry fees: $1195, plus 20k Party points for the $100k freeroll
In the money (ITM) finishes: 0
ITM %: 0%
Return on investment: -100%
Avg buy-in per event: $170.71
Total time consumed: 10.5 hours
Hourly rate: -$113.81

Ring game results $10/$20 6 max
Net $ results: -$48.76 (2.4BB)
Total time consumed: 1 hour
Hourly rate: -$48.76

I'm not unhappy about the ring game results. There were only 2 short sessions, and towards the end of the second session I lost a huge pot when I flopped a smaller boat. My opponent was fairly solid, so I probably lost 2BB more than I should of, perhaps 1BB.

The only good thing I can say about the MTTs was that I did follow through on the high level plan of attempting to go deep. I absolutely did not play to make it into the money. In 4 of the 7 events, I busted with less than 20% of the field remaining. In 2 of the 5 events, I had an above average stack at the start of my final hand.


My last hand of the $600+$40 Party Million Guaranteed event, level 9 $200/$400 blinds, ~530/1735 players remaining, 180 players paid, avg chips ~T$4900:
- preflop: Hero is dealt TT UTG with a $10600 stack (2x avg , ~26.5x bb). Hero raises 3.5x bb, folded to MP who flat calls with ~$14600 behind (~36.5x bb) , everyone else folds. (2 players, pot size 8.5x bb)
- flop: 832 rainbow, hero bets 8x bb, immediately MP pushes for 36.5x bb.

I used up my time bank on this one though I obviously called since it was my last hand. I had not seen this player get caught out of line. He had come over the top of an opponent twice in the last 3 orbits where the opponent mucked (once preflop and once on the flop), though his raises were not all in.

At the time, I put him on one of 4 hands: 77, 99, TT, JJ. I don't know if this is a reasonable estimation of his range. I'm offered 2.6:1 odds, and my lame assessment says my hand is good over 60% of the time, so I call. Villain has JJ, turn and river are bricks, I throw my stress ball across the living room and am thankful that my wife is out doing Christmas shopping.

Again the primary thing about this hand is whether or not I understand MP's range of hands. When the JJ was turned up, I felt like the donk of the day. I think I need a better model for calcuating my opponent's range of hands.

The way I thought about it at the time was:
- he has 6 ways of being dealt 77, 99 and JJ and 1 way of being dealt TT; so I'm ahead 12/19 times, tied 1/19 times, and behind 6/19 of the rest.

A simple but probably effective way to define the situation is consider what the probability is that MP would push with a worse hand than TT on this dry board at this stage of the tournament when MP has close to a 3x avg chip stack vs. an opponent who has 2/3 of his chip stack and has already fired 2 bullets. (preflop there was 1 bigger stack than MP in CO)

Given infinite time, I think I should have modelled it more like this:
- for each hand possibility, estimate the probability that the opponent would have played the hand in the manner he did, and then factor in the number of ways that hand could be dealt, and then factor in my EV against each hand and then sum them all up:
- My EV for folding is 0. If I call, I get +39.5x bb for winning, -15xbb for losing, and +12.25xbb for chopping.
- AA, KK: 20%, 12 ways
- QQ: 10%, 6 ways
- JJ: 50%, 6 ways
- TT: 50%, 1 way
- 99, 77: 50%, 12 ways
- 88: 10%, 3 ways
- AKo, AQs, AJs, KQs: 10%, 28 ways
Using poker stove and excel, I come up with a EV of +13.7xbb for calling (the weighted avg gives me the best hand 56% of the time). The dominating effect is made from the inclusion of the 77 possibility. If I completely drop the 77 hand, the EV drops to +8.7xbb. What EV should I call with given I can muck and have still have an above avg chip stack?

Naturally, the assumptions can be way off. If I changed AA, KK to 25%, QQ to 20%, JJ to 75%, drop 77, KQs, AJs from the picture, the EV drops to +3.7xbb. It doesn't take much more tweaking of assumptions to make it a -EV call. Clearly this is a garbage in garbage out type model.


Anyways, this is excessive analysis for 1 stinkin stupid hand. There were 2 other hands (1 in level 3 and 1 in level 4) that I did not get maximum value for my medium strength hand against a bad player. At the time, I was only a little upset with myself. On further reflection, I think that in the long run, these kinds of mistakes are just as bad as my play in the TT hand.

Overall, given an average distribution of hands, I suspect I am not playing well enough to build an above average chip stack. I am going to continue to try and adjust for this.


I'm 0/11 in the last week and a half of online MTTs, but I will continue to keep at it.

I've been favoring playing Party MTTs lately because I have a substantial amount of data mined from the larger Party MTTs. Also, my most frequently played event, the $100+9 9pm event, has a $2k overlay.

The structure for larger buy-in Party events is actually quite reasonable. In the Million Dollar guaranteed event I actually dropped below the initial buy-in level on hand #1 and did not climb above this mark again until after the 90 minute mark (late in level 5). There is a lot of room to play, and if I can improve my game, I think I may eventually have some good finishes.


I have a new hero.

Congrats to lordhutty for closing the deal on the $200k guaranteed on Saturday. I see lordhutty in every $100+ NLHE MTT on Party. He is frequently among the top leaders on the Party TLB (In the Monthly Party TLB in 2005, he was in the top 10 3x, top20 2x, and in the top 100 2x). Mixing quantity with quality pays off.

"I'll have whatever that guy is having"


Party's BBJ is in the $300k range again. I've decided my new cut-off point for playing the BBJ tables will be $538k. I'm basing this number on my estimate that at this size the Jackpot EV for playing $2/$4 BBJ tables is $0.10 per hand (all hands, not raked hands). I'm not a good enough player to pass on that kind of EV/hand.

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