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Donkley Poker Tournament--A mega? part II

I was extolling the virtues of amassing big chip stacks to go the final table of a tournament with to lessen your disadvantage when playing 8 more skilled players. Or the Darvin Moon formula. You can do that a couple of ways, by taking more risks than your opponents and letting chance be more of a factor (thus lessening your disadvantage because there is less opportunity for you to be outplayed), or by getting big hands and getting them to hold (Darvin Moon did both).

You can control one of those strategies and the other is up to the fate of the cards that are about to be pitched. The same is true but in the reverse for a mega. If you are a skilled player (with enough chips that blinds aren't a factor) why agree to take coin-flips and get entrenched in hands with lesser players when you don't have to win all the chips? Your poker strategy should exploit your advantage not minimize it.

Chris Ferguson won the World Series of Poker Main Event over TJ Cloutier in heads up act…

Donkley Poker Tournament--A mega? part I

I've dealt or blogged about this before... where I've made lay-downs in the Donkley that are definitely sub-optimal for standard poker tournament strategy but for that structure are probably (?) the right move. Here's why...

Well, the Donkley is a Texas No Limit Hold Em' Poker Tournament, however, it doesn't play like a true tournament. Sure, it's a freeze out where the objective is to play down to one player and like a tournament all the big money is in positions 1,2, and 3. But the Chop factor changes the dynamics significantly. In essence it is more a mega than a typical tournament.

In "mega" tournaments it may be right to lay down AA preflop on the bubble. Why? Because in a mega satellite everybody wins the same amount (usually a seat into a bigger buy-in event). All you have do is survive to the money and you get the same prize as the big stack. In that format, protecting your chip stack, ie survival is paramount. There is no incentive to become th…

Weekly Donkley Poker Tournament Thanksgiving Week

Some notable hands from the Donkley poker tournament to follow: I won a big pot with AK. A fairly tight guy with a big stack raised from early position. He was your typical middle aged white poker player. ABC. I was on the button and called. The flop came A high with three clubs. He led out a pot sized bet.

I stewed. It looked like a protection bet to me. In case he was semi-bluffing with a club draw I decided my best option was to shove. With action back to him, he deliberated forever and called me with AQ and had no club in his hand. Don't know what I'd do in his position. I think I would have folded. I think I bet enough to get an Ace with a club to fold, at least that was my intention. Obviously, I didn't have a club either. My hand held. That right there is the frustrating thing about these low buy-in tournaments, it’s so hard to protect a hand against players that will call anything. It’s hard to not be at the whimsy of the deck.

Earlier in the tourna…

Caller's Remorse... I should have folded at the Poker Table...

Recently, I play online poker and got into with a player I have a history with. I've played several large pots with this guy and he's usually come out on top. He just seems to have my number. When I decide to play poker online I usually try to avoid the guys that frankly own me, unfortunately I was into a juicy table when this guy appeared on my right. Okay, I'll have position on him, and most of my losses came when he basically had me coolered and had position on me.

I had my standard set-up I put together when the wife and baby are in bed and I decide to play online poker into the wee hours of the night. Water bottle, snack, and place to put my feet up. I also had a couple of tables open.

The water bottle is great because I can do a spit take when I am surprised. Can't do that in a casino. Lost some monitors and laptops by being too emphatic in my surprise—so funny or not spit-takes can be dangerous. Okay, I'm lying. I've never spit on my laptop or monitor and …

A few other things...

Recently, I got to play with Yarddog, the frequent online poker commentator on Monkey's poker blog, or should I say the frequent humorous commentator on Monkey's blog. I just had to give him a shout out, because he sat down at my table and promptly scooped two 150 to 200 pots with outrageous bluffs showing hole cards lower than the board. He tells me he's had some success playing online poker and I can see why, guy is fearless.

There are times when I've played that style usually with a lot of passive nits that I try to exploit, but it's just so so hard on some of these tables. Some of the players can only see the card in their hand matching the top card on the board and call no matter what, some will do so with second pair, and some with just ace high. I got to give the guy credit, without a read on the table, or perhaps with a preexisting one, he quickly put everybody to shame and stole some pots.

We both had an incredibly profitable down, and it came after one of t…

Coaching part ii

Cont.

How do I teach that?

Turns out, there is a lot of information that I've read that I've also digested and processed. It's on display at the poker table everyday and I utilize it even if I don't think about it. Kind of like typing on a keyboard after you've learned to type. You push the "I" button without thinking about which finger goes where, however, if you slow down and think about you know it's your right thumb (just kidding).

The guy I'm working with, I'm hesistant to call him a student because I think he's a great poker player who regularly wins online and goes deep in tournaments in live play, is open and receptive to all those little kernels I've picked up. I don't profess to be a better poker player than my peers, in fact, I can name a ton of players locally that I think have an edge on me, and there are probably countless others playing in stakes I don't play at.

I do have some modicum of success in live play rel…

Coaching part i

Perhaps inspired by the guys over at Poker Immersion or Jonathan Little coaching Steve Begleiter at the Main Event, I agreed to do some coaching the last couple of weeks. I have to say it's been a great experience. Maybe one day I'll open a poker school. The person I'm working with is already one of the top players, in my opinion, locally and I think I am able to learn quite a bit from him. Teacher is the student?

Well, he approached me because he recognized a skill set that I possess and one that he wants to add to his game. He's a voracious reader and he's already burned through a book I thought could help him out. It's interesting because I had some trepidation in starting this process. This wasn't anything like hand selection, aggression, or any of a myriad of poker skills that he already possessed, though we do discuss those things, no this was about reads.

He's played with me and seen me make some tough calls and has been very flattering about my a…

Lessons Learned

In the previous post I discussed two hands I got to play with Captain Tom and Mark Wilds. I was fortunate enough to eliminate them and also granted an opportunity to learn another poker lesson from them both.

This kind of ties into a pet peeve of mine. I hate it when players bitch about the stakes of the tournament they are in. You might hear, "I can't take it seriously this is only a $300 or $500 buy-in," and while I understand where they are coming from I think it's bad form and hurts their game. They are basically assuring themselves of pissing away $500.

The same is true in cash, I notice a lot of 2-5 players will sit down at a 1-2 table and play like the stakes are beneath them. They raise like mad, as though they can turn the table into a higher limit game. Same thing at a 2-5 table when players sit down waiting for a bigger game, or sit down pissed there isn't a bigger game.

I love it when they do. Essentially, their mindset starts them off on tilt. T…

A couple other combatants

Wanted to wrap up my thoughts on some of the folks I played with. Got to mix it up with two of the bigger names on the coast and was lucky enough to knock them out. These are a pair of guys who made their poker names playing live poker vs. online poker, and that only made them more dangerous considering the venue. These guys have forgotten more poker strategy than I've learned. This will be a two part post, in this one I'll discuss those hands and in the next post, I'll give you the lessons I learned from playing them.

Captain Tom Franklin who has almost 30 cashes at the WSOP, 2.6 million in earnings and a bracelet also had a pretty decent stack when we were down to about four or five tables. He joined our table and played an orbit or so.

In late position I looked down at KQ o/s. There was a raise from early position from a player that didn't really apply hand ranges to position. I decided to call. Captain Tom from one of the blinds re-raises. The original raiser folds.

WSOP November Niner Poker Player, Begleiter "It's okay I'm wealthy."

Saw this thread on 2+2 apparently after November Niner Steve Begleiter got knocked out he said the above. Begleiter is notable for being a former Bears Stern executive, who had some involvement in the the toxic assets that precipitated the recent economic collapse. He's not some self made internet online poker millionaire (though he did hire one upon making the final table--never too late to go to poker school I guess, and of course that coach is fellow Gulf Coaster Jonathan Little).

The sentiment, per se, of simply stating that he's wealthy really doesn't bother me that much, but there was some controversy and hate forcused at him. I started to join the fray and stopped myself deciding to post it here. Why? I'm not going to remember to get on there to follow up to any responses this might have gotten.

This post provoked me...

[QUOTE=tcash777;14409289]Does that me he is NOT wealthy.

Okay, you are right, he should have said, "this sucks, life is so unfair, I o…

The kid...

You know who he is. He plays with a scowl, he's fearless and not afraid to mix it up with anybody. He's relentless, aggressively betting into any and everybody on the table no matter their position but never getting his head in too deep. I bet he kills the tables when he plays online poker.

For much of the tournament he was at my table with a stack size comparable to mine. I also watched him with the resilency to rebuild his stack after a couple of bad beats back to a chip leading stack in no time. Man what an attribute. Get beaten down, and not only dust yourself off, but just not stop being controlled aggressive. He pounced on weakness from the first hand and didn't stop.

Some people when you slap their hand, that's it. Lesson learned, this kid realizes just the opposite should be true. With him you play back at him and scoop a pot, he's coming right back next rotation. Most people know him as Ricky, I'm most people so I know him as that too, and I ha…

Some of my opponents

Like I said I learned a ton from many of the guys I played with. I wanted to touch on some of those attributes. Let's start with the guy won the whole thing, Mike. On a good day, I hope I have his disposition and I try to, but got to commend him he pulled it off effortlessly.

We started on the same table, and I went up and down a bit but had the good fortune to catch hands while my opponents caught hands--with mine being better and then I didn't stop rolling. At first, I rated Mike as passive player and a target as he folded everything.

Then I recognized when he did play some hands, he did so with some finesse, and saw that he was just being patient and selective. He was aware of the table dynamics and played poker with a fun spirit, even when a couple of times the deck got ugly on him.

He never, ever got down on himself. Many of my best runs are when I have the mental fortitude to not throw a pity party after a bad beat, and many of my worst are when I tilt or have the …

400 Posts

Wow. Just saw that I have 400 posts under the belt, that's a lot of posts. Unfortunately, I rate maybe 5 to 10% as entertaining, I'll try and do better. Too many hands, too much minutia, and that kind of stuff. I want to enliven the blog a bit, so will work to better dedicate myself to getting creative in presentation at least. I know I can but too often I get, well, lazy.

Of course another of the goals of this blog which is to chronicle my mistakes and to learn and grow from them. I also want to track what works for me, that I'm trying out, and put some post-play thought to my blog. No man is an island, and no man is a poker island, so feel free to criticize as you see fit.

What an wide range of 400 posts it's been. Maybe I'll sift through them, perhaps in time for post 500, to give a choice cut. We'll see. I think I've mentioned this before and haven't done it.

It's been a good week. Final tabled and cashed twice--chopped twice. The sec…