Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Takin out the trash...

Didn't have a chance to post for the last few days, so here is a dump of some of my goings-on


Ya gotta play like your money don't mean nothin...

Funny little thing happened tonight, although granted the tale might come out as a thinly veiled bad-beat story. Plus I'm always long winded, so it takes some reading to get to the point.

The first of the month kicks off for me like it does every month - at 9pm on the last night of the previous month... (I live in the Pacific time zone).

9:01pm, so I decided to grind away some VIP points at Stars. I've been trying to pick up Turbo SNGs a-la-pokernerd. I've still got a lot to learn about SNGs, so what I settled on was 6-tabling a mix of $55+5s and $25+2s and 4-tabling $3/$6 LHE. (Probably not a good mix; ideally I would like to 8 table the $55+5s, but I am worried that I might not have a sufficient ROI. Since the VPPs are so low at the $25+2s, I add in the LHE tables for a slight points boost)

It is a bit of a madhouse at times. For example, sometimes when I click to register for a replacement SNG, the table will have already filled so I get a "Registration failed" popup instead of a "Registration successful" message. However, occasionally I will just click the okay button without even noticing the difference. Only after a couple of minutes when a new table does not pop up on my screen will I realize that I must have failed to register.

Nothing too interesting happens in the first couple hours, but I'm getting a little tired at that point from madly clicking away. I start my last SNG in the pipeline, and decide to play down from the 10 tables until I'm down to 4 (my LHE ring games) and then call it a night.

By the time I'm down to 6 tables, I've finally got some breathing room, and take a gander at the cashier. I'm stunned to see my balance looks several hundred dollars below what I expect it to be. My eyes start racing around at chips stacks of my cash games, and I can't understand what happened. I'm still occupied enough that I decided to wait until the end of the session before doing any further investigation.

I get down to the last SNG, and we're on the bubble. I'm 2nd in chips with the chip leader on my immediate right. He is only marginally active, so I get to steal steal steal an above average number of times considering I am only 2nd chip leader. The guy on my left finally busts. The former chip leader gets crippled when his JJ get cracked when the 2nd opponent make a very boneheaded preflop all in rereraise with A5o. Former chip leader had been playing so tight, I cannot see how Mr. A5o can even think he has as good as a coinflip when he had not at all been significantly tied to the pot (It was still only level 7 100/200/25). But whatever, standard bonehead $25+2 player, right? Anyway, A hits the board and the former chip leader is busted a couple of hands later.

Headsup ran about one and a half more levels (to the 300/600/50? stage) to the point where I had just under a 75/25 chip advantage, and the action quickly climaxed in 2 hands. I pushed with A7s; and he insta called with K3; pair of 3s beats A high. Next hand he pushes with JTo; I insta call w ATs; board comes JJxxx, and we're done. No big deal, $45 diff between 1st and 2nd, and I can finally dash off to the bathroom.

When I get back, I open up the cashier again, and to my surprise, my balance looks almost $1k higher than I expect. WTF? I close the SNG table and view the SNG Tournament lobby window, and if it is not already obvious enough, I had accidentally registered for a $525+$30 turbo sng.

Those two back to back hands didn't cost me $45, it was actually $945. Damn.

To be fair, although I have played in tournaments before with a larger buy-in, had I known the stakes I was playing at, I'm quite doubtful I would have been able to play aggressively enough to have finished ITM. I'm thankful for my ignorance (and inefficiency in early detection of the buyin error).


Shooting Stars

The Bay 101 WPT Shooting Stars main event kicks off on February 27th, and I will be starting in the first flight, Day 1 (I won my seat a few months back on a Dise satellite). The format of this event is rather unique compared to the typical $10k buyin event because the structure of the event includes additional ways to cash from the event other than making it past the money bubble.

50 of the players in the tournament (1 at each starting table) have a $5k bounty on their heads. Additionally, the chip leader at the end of the first day (for each of the 2 flights) will receive $10k. These payouts "only" consume ~6% of the total prizepool, and with me being such dead money for a $10k event, it is pretty nice to have these additional cashing opportunities. I would only dislike the structure if I thought I had any chance of making the TV table.

This will only be my 2nd big buy in event. (The first one being the UB Aruba event in 2004... a pretty darn long time ago...)

I'm not sure yet how I will allocate time to prepare for this event. Some time will inevitably go into playing some live small buy in tournaments, although the fast structure make these things a push fest after just a few levels. It can't hurt to spend more time in live play, since my ratio of live/online play has been inverted for the last couple of months.

On the other hand, I'm also thinking about running some of the Stars Deep Stack tournaments. The $5k chip stack, half hour levels should give a much better representation of the structure of a big buyin event.

Reviewing Harrington on Hold'em, particularly volume 2, seems prudent as well. Any other tips or suggestions are appreciated.


Martinspoker client

I put in an hour of time at Martinspoker the other day, and I can't say that I am a big fan of their client GUI. It seems like a receipe for a convulsive seisure. Despite the respectable per-€0.31-raked-hand bonus, I might not be able to go the distance.

About 6 months ago, I decided that I had enough of tired and exhausted eyes, and I replaced all monitors that I use on a daily basis, including the one at my day-job (at my own expense, but a worthwhile investment since I want my eyes to be well rested or at least not already burned out when starting any nightly sessions) with LCD monitors. The Martinspoker client GUI flickers between hands (the window clears grey and then repaints entirely), and with multible tables running I am distinctly reminded of trying to use a CRT monitor that is on its last legs. Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is certainly not comfortable to endure.

Additionally, none of the client gui windows seem to be able to paint correctly when I move those windows onto my second monitor. The windows just are completely grey. Perhaps there is some setting or parameter I could adjust, however, this is the only application I have ever run on my system that did not display correctly on the 2nd monitor, so I'm not going to spend any time investigating. Besides, it is not like I'm going to be 8-tabling this bad-boy any time soon.

Driving in a straight line?

On a completely un-poker-related note, I've had a couple of hair raising driving experiences in the last week. I just have a ton of respect for my fellow drivers on the road.

On Wednesday night, I was driving on the freeway to pick up a takeout order that I had just called in. The restaurant is a very busy one, and I was quite sure my order would take a while to be completed. Hence, I drove at a leisurely pace (relative to my usual). I was going 65 in a 65, but more importantly, in my relaxed frame of mind, I made no effort to consider the spatial arrangement of cars around me nor anticipate the actions of other drivers.

I reached a point on the freeway where, due to a long term construction project, the h/w has an abnormal rightwards bend in the road. The bend in the road is not too substantial (maybe 5-6 degrees), although at night drivers who are either unfamiliar with that stretch of highway or !!!not paying attention!!! will be taken by surprise.

I was driving in the middle lane, and a soccer mom driving a large, clean, and shiny SUV was passing me on the right going roughly 80. She had at least two kids in the car, one of which was watching a DVD in the backseat. The point that she passed me was just at the bend in the road where she proceeded to continue in a straight line without turning. At 80, it took only a fraction of a second to completely have crossed over into my lane.

She was less than 1/2 of a car length ahead of me at the start of the bend, and even with me hitting the brakes, had I remained strictly in my lane, her SUV would have impacted the front 1/5th or 1/4 of my car. Given the impact inertia of her large vehicle I would certainly have been spun out on a 65 mile an hour free way with cars behind me.

I was VERY fortunate that both the car behind me and the nearest car in the left hand lane were both more than 3 car lengths back and ~paying attention~. I had slowed to close to less than 50 and halfway into the leftmost lane before it was safe enough to return to my lane and h/w speed. (I did see those relatively close headlights of cars in both the left and center lanes...)

Given that the SUV did cut me off in that location, and the number of cars on the freeway at the time, there was probably a 5-10% chance that a car would have been in the right place in either my lane or the leftmost lane to create an unavoidable SERIOUS accident.

Now, I just hate those odds. How many times a night do you get rivered by the small set or gutshot? I count myself very lucky and am scolding myself for not paying more attention to my surroundings.

The second incident happened yesterday at a traffic light intersection. I was sitting at a red light waiting to make a left hand turn off of a freeway exit ramp. There were two left turn lanes, and I was in the right hand one. The lane I was in was also permitted to proceed straight (onto a freeway on ramp). The left hand land was a must turn lane.

When the light turned green, I attempted to make my left turn through the intersection. The car in the left hand lane accelerated in an attempt to go straight through the intersection. The lady driving the Nissan Maxima hit the side of my car just behind the driver side door.

I don't know what the impact speed was, but it probably wasn't that high. The Maxima had already started slowing down (though didn't attempt to turn to avoid hitting me) when the driver noticed me in her path. Perhaps it was because the ground was wet, but my car just spun like a top across the intersection.

No injuries to anyone, but mucho inconvenience.


OneTrueRock said...

I feel your pain about registering for SnG's.

I don't play many, but I have mutlitabled and tried to register in Sng's. I don't remember the site maybe Party, but I think I ended up in a LHE, STUD H/L, and another LHE, when shooting for a low buy in NLHE. It was quite frustrating.

I have often thought they should offer, a 'Register for next X dollar 'game type' Sng option, just like the waiting list for Ring games.


d said...


Both Party's and Stars's lobbys have much to be desired. Good UI design is not easy, but when your site is pulling in the amount of revenue these sites do, it is ridiculous that they have not committed the resources to have improved theirs by now.


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