Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Heater Theater

Letter to the Package Holders Continued

I paused again.  In this case, I had decided I was going to play a big early pot and if I got sucked out on, so be it.  I felt confident he just had a king and it was unlikely he held two spades in his hand.  No straight draw out there that made sense.  I raised.  He called fairly quickly.

On the turn, a third spade hit the board and he checked.  Again, I deliberated a while before acting.  I was worried a fourth spade might hit the river, giving me the nut flush but giving him a reason to get away from the hand.  So, I overbet the turn and put it all in.  My intention was for it to smell a little fishy, I guess it did because after a while he called me and doubled me up.

I didn't look back.  I hero called a woman with second pair 109 on an Ace high board.  Strong read by me, and fuel to encourage the other players to not mix it up with me.  I slowly built my stack by utilizing that image, position and betting.  Our table did not break until the redraw for the final three tables and I pretty much did anything I wanted.  One dip in the day came when I opened three times in two or three orbits  and ran into hands.  Every time I got reraised, twice I folded and when I showed my hand or talked about it, my opponents  showed me aces.  The other time, I pushed back and a short stack instacalled with Queens.  


 Anyway, as I approached the money Gene made the cash in his tournament.  He also looked ready for business on the day and was steadily chipping up.  Finally, the possibility of a really big day for the package.
When we finally did break my table I went from one of the big stacks to an immediate shortie.  It felt like, all the chips in the tournament were at my new table and I was behind everybody else.  One of the perks of not breaking a table is playing your same opponents all day and reinforcing the perception of you, you want them to have.  The negative is the chips seem to stagnate, especially at a tight table like the one I was on, and you can only make so much money.

The new table had a guy on a suicide mission who acted two before me, and literally a pot never got to me that was unopened.  So now, my range of hands got narrower.  Despite, his fatalism, I won a couple of all-ins without getting called and listened to them discuss how tight I was.  Sweet, license to steal and chip up.
My image was so good, I folded pocket Jacks from the big blind to one bet.  He showed Aces (good fold).  In that spot, I'm supposed to reshove every time but I just felt beat and gave it up.  I got into trouble earlier in the week when I did what I was supposed to, even though I just felt beat (I was).  This time I listened to my feelings.  I did the exact same thing from the SB a couple of rounds later with AQ and the guy claimed AK. 

I've been fine tuning a short-stack strategy for the bubble that I'd like to explore the numbers behind.  Wish I had a computer simulation to approximate this, but I think I'd rather shove any two random cards (with a tight image that I maintain) then call off anything but AA, KK, and QQ.  And by call off, I also include a reshove where enough of my opponent's stack is in the middle I have no fold equity. 

If my opponents are ceding me pots I think I'm better off making them make decisions.  I win more often (though win less because most aren't true doubles) when they fold a high percentage of the time.  The low percentage they call I can still win.  Granted when they call I'm usually a big underdog than a small favorite. 

  Anybody a math whiz?

So, finally I make the money.  I'm now short and they redraw tables again.  Somehow I get almost all players I haven't played with who have no idea how I play.  We lose two players fairly quickly and then as so frustratingly happens I see short stack after short stack double and survive. 

Finally, I'm in the big blind with AK.  I'm down to ten big blinds (just under 50k).  I see a lady in early position make a terrible bet and I get the feeling this moment is going to be my Waterloo.  She bets a scaredish 25k.  I know she's weak and making a terrible play to steal the blinds.

For those that are new to the game, pay attention to the minimum size bet that will induce folds and bet it.  Don't overbet thinking you'll thin the field better.  Good players will recognize that for what it is and play back at you.  In essence the exact opposite of your intention will occur.  Also, if you bet small it's easier to get away when a good hand comes over the top.  When you do have a good hand, you have room to bloat the pot subtlety too.  You induce a reraise and have room for one or two of your own.

Anyway, it felt like a weak ace and my AK crushes that.  I ship it, and she doesn't even want to call the rest.  Another rule of thumb I have is if a shorter stack is in the big blind, I never put chips into the pot unless I'm willing to play for his stack (or if he's a supernit and I expect a fold).  The fact she over bet A3 and then was stuck to a pot because of my stack size illustrates what a big blunder she was making.

Had she bet the minimum, I come over the top she folds.  Instead she's in bad shape and has to call.  She gets there, makes a flush (double ugh) and I exit the tournament with a min cash.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Heater Tweeter

First off I want to congratulate friends, accomplices and acquaintances who had great weeks.  I know Monkey, Gene D, Benton Blakeman, Shannon Shorr, Martin Tyson, BJ McBrayer, Tim Burt, Claudia Crawford, and others all cashed in different parts of the world.  Choctaw, LA, Borgata, Bahamas and Biloxi it's been a busy week and somebody we know has been going deep everywhere.  Been afraid to do an update on the site because there is so much to update.

As for me... 

Again.. a recap email sent to my friends who bought pieces of my package for the Heater:

The Million Dollar Heater, aka the Hundred Dollar Cooler, has finally gotten some heat into it.  A min-cash in my most recent event is a positive sign for the satellites before the Main Event.   A couple of near misses in the nightlies also foretold a thawing in the halls of the Beaus. Sunday, especially late Sunday night held a lot of promise.  Unfortunately, it didn't deliver much financially but it could have... onto to the drama.

As I mentioned in my Vegas package, to which the same rules apply for this, I held out the option to trade percentages with players.  To our net gain we had 10% of Eugene Dudek in the $150k Guarantee.  What that means is if you have 10% of me, you'd have 10% of that 10% (or 1% of Gene).  If you had 5% of me then you had .05% of Gene.  Gene was back on day two battling for the 35k first place prize. 

There were a ton of other accomplished players who got that far and for a while it had the look of an all star shootout, for the region.  Several big name favorites flamed out as Gene made the money.  Short-stacked he weathered time and time again until he got to the final two tables.  I didn't look at the pay jumps, but I knew from experience each time he cleared a hurdle as the tables were breaking. 

It was a work-out as I played all day Sunday finally picking up my first bit of momentum in the series.
Unlike the World Series, the last time I sold a package, where my big hands got murdered, or anything I got flopped got run down (with usually some idiot bluffing all their money in), I've been experiencing a totally different type of "cooler."  Just sustained state of being card dead.  Really, I only survived in most tournaments when I created money out of nothing.  I'd fizzle out when I got played back at and gave my opponents credit for real hands.  It never turned.

I kept nursing short stack after short stack and would invariably lose all my all-ins.  I got too involved in a hand where maybe I should have found a fold on Saturday.  The board three flushed and I had a guy on big draw with the Ace of spades going to the river.  I made him pay for the draw and a five double paired the board.  No spade and the wheel didn't get there obviously.  I had an overpair.  He shoved.  I went through the hands he could have only two kickers with the Ace of Spades beat me, and one didn't make sense.  Thus, any card he would have played that way, but the one he held I could beat.

I nursed a short stack for a few levels again and exited.  Earlier in the week I flopped a set of fives and got it in on the flop only to see my opponents aces make a set on the turn.  Not so fun.

That brought me to Sunday.  I posted an early tweet saying I was winning the tournament.  On that day, cards weren't going to matter.  I was going to be aggressive, not impatient, but aggressive.  I wasn't going to create enough chips to survive, but I was just going to create enough of them to thrive.

Invariably, I ran good, and didn't have to magically manifest chips (which is only a strategy of absolute desperation when card dead).  I had hands and they got called and they held.  In my first big pot, I had AA.  I called a tight player preflop one off the button.  I thought his tightness might get the blinds out, and not reraising would disguise my hand.  I took a while to act, as I also considered the fact he played so few hands he might hold a really big hand that I should reraise.  We got one player coming along.  My two black aces saw a King high flop with two spades.

The blind checked, and the tight player C-bet. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Letter to my backers...

Hello all,

First off, I want to thank everybody that has supported me by buying a piece of my package for the Million Dollar Heater.   We still have the bulk of tournaments to play so I'm excited about our chances.  Bullet number one didn't go so well but still got a loaded gun.  .

The first day of my Million Dollar Heater was more like the five hour cooler.  I splashed around early and saw my chip stack vacillate between 8k and 12k.  I made some big early hands, but it was too early for anybody to really pay me off.  I liked my table draw at first.  I had the talented Larry Williamson on my right, he's  a super nice guy and reads the site, and can play.  Fortunately, I was on his left so advantage me.  Then Greek Michael from Harrahs sat down two more to my right.

He's a wide open player and is savvy enough to get out of the way when he's behind. Still he makes things a lot more difficult, because hand ranges widen so much.  Others adapt to him and open up and things can get messy quickly.  Don't like him at my table because of the confusion he creates but if he has to be there, again, glad to be in position.

Before the antes started I felt very comfortable.  There were tables that were better but at least at mine I had position.  Probably I splashed around too much early because once the extra money entered the pot, I had two players I decided were conservative and tight, that started to three bet me.  I kept laying down but began to question whether or not they were simply adjusting to what they deemed my style of play.  

Then one of them busted so I expected things to ease but the formidable David Nicholson sat down.  I asked him if it was fair that he's currently beating me at Words With Friends (think I'm a scrabble fish but I'm new to the game) and now he was going to take my chips too.  He replied he was fine with that scenario.

Immediately, it folded around to me on the button and I looked at 67 suited.  I usually tighten up my range on the button, against better players like David in the blinds, because I feel the button steal is so common I'm inviting them to play back at me, and I need a hand for that.  I decided this was a versatile hand to get played back and to be able to escape if necessary.  He called my bet.  Flop came 962.  He checked.  I bet, he called.

Turn was another 9.  He checked, I checked too.  Not that the 9 changes anything but another bet might be more persuasive to him.  However, if I were him and called the flop, I'm not going to fold when another 9 hits.  And it's not that gave him credit for a 9, but I don't think he's calling out of position with nothing and basically all I can beat is a float.  In that vein of thought, I was preparing to call his river bet.   River was an Ace and while it's a good bluff card when he checked to me, I had to revaluate.  I know he knows that's a good card to pop back at me.  Why wouldn't he?  He's got a hand that probably beats me and has showdown value so he wants to check call.  Or he's gotten a big hand and thinks I might bluff at the ace.  Anyway, I'm not looking to play big pots with skilled players early especially with third pair so I checked.  He had A6.  Think the paired 9s slowed him down but I don't see him folding the river to anything but a stupid bet by me and even then he might call because it's stupid.

He ran a little worse than me and got knocked out before me.  I was glad to see it because I always like to see good players on my left walking away from the table.  After a long period of being card dead-ish.  I had a bad level and punted about 4k away missing flops and calling off.  In one hand a guy shoved on the river and disguised his hand by not betting off flush and straight draws. 

Flop came KJJ two clubs in a multi-way pot.  He checked it to the river than shoved sitting on AJ.  I discounted a solitary King or a jack because of all the draws he didn't chase away and called him light.  More likely he missed his draws there, I think, or I'm paying off a monster like quads or KJ.  AJ I did not expect.  Thought his range was more polarized than it was I guess.  I also leaned toward him leading out on the turn with say KJ with multiple people in the pot to get some value from it, so ultimately I decided quads or nothing and quads were unlikely.  Bad read?  I   

Then, they broke my tables and I immediately sat down with a table full of young guys.  Before I could get a hand,  I watched them all being very active.  The extra 2k I dumped in that final hand would have been handy as pots were expensive in my new digs.  I finally got a hand, in middle position in an unopened pot.  Having not played anything for two rounds I figured I'd get some respect and led out with 66.

I got called on the button and by the big stack in the big blind.  Flop came 822.  Big blind checked.  I bet, button called.  Button was a woman who looked a little bit like Natasha Hensdrige but with kind of a crazy look to her.  I accorded her two overs and almost continued with a bet on the turn but it put three clubs out there.  She doubled checked her cards and I thought she's looking for a big club.  I couldn't decide if she had one or not.  Better to check it down.  River was another club.  Good bluff spot but she seemed comfortable.  I checked and she slowly showed King 8 off-suit no club.  I grimaced, because I thought I was good when she didn't bet.  Should have known not to trust the chick from Species, too much alien in her.

I later shoved AQ and a big stack woke up to kings.  I missed.

I gave the package two extra shots.  I decided to play the nightly and the $125 the next day.  I didn't track it by twitter because I decided it would count as one of the wildcards if I cashed.  If I missed it wouldn't.  I missed, so neither counts.  

Nightly didn't last long.  I began as an alternate.  When I got to the table late, with blinds already up there, a short stack shoved, several people called, a big stack isolated.  I called with a lot of extra money in the pot holding AK suited.  Short stack AA, big stack 55.  Ugh so much for my outs.  He amused me by telling the table he didn't care what she had he was only after my money.  Right.  He shoved before I was in the pot.  Granted, things changed after I went all in, but he was already revising history less than a minute after it happened.  What he was after was hopefully a coinflip with the short stack with all the extra money in the pot.  He didn't want a call from a bigger stack at all, until he saw what we held.

The next day I found myself on one of the few tough tables in a $125 buy-in $100 reentries.  Maurice Hawkins two to my left.  Fun.  Then two to my right in a grip of passive older men was a player from Atlanta that knew what he was doing.  Every time there was a pot to be stolen with weakness shown he'd beat me to it (usually on the button).  I never had the hand to 4 bet him with that I was willing for him to call and me play out of position.  One time I picked up I think a betting tell on a good player at the table and I was itching to repop him and the guy from Atlanta, maybe making the same read, again beat me into the pot.   

Maurice Hawkins (info on him and more here) was a fun player to play with.  Pretty early on he incited one of the older players in a "You ydon't know who I am,"  "No, You don't know who I am," kind of thing.  I liked that most of the people at the table was on edge and off their games.  Only problem, like I said I was handcuffed, and couldn't exploit them.

Just like the $350 I splashed around early, but I was able to chip up enough to not use the re-buy (which could be used as an add-on).  Then after the rebuy period ended and Maurice and the player next to him (one of his buddies who I rated pretty good) started three betting me fairly frequently.  I tightened up my range and waited.
My chips started to disappear and I got short. 

I doubled up through Hawkins' buddy in another hand which again had some revisionist thinking involved.  I opened with AQ suited, he three bet me.  I couldn't decide to shove or not but I decided that I would call and shove if I hit or try to induce if I hit real good.  Didn't have to jam there.

Flop came two of my suit 8 high.  Two overs and a flush draw, I'm favored against most hands, I'm looking to get it in.  I check confident he's c-betting almost everything he has.   He bets, I shove, he calls.  He has 810 off suit.  Maybe they were three betting me light all day, he certainly was in this case.  Turn was a ten which took away my overs.  River gave me my only all-in win (either as the big stack or short stack) of the weekend.  I hit a heart.

After that, he kept bringing up the river heart as if he suffered a really bad beat.  Which is kind of ignoring the fact he got it in as a dog (albeit a small one where were essentially flipping).   Yes, on the turn he improved to 81% but again the money got in on the flop, the turn on its own is kind of irrelevant.

I grinded all the way back to almost a comfortable stack and then the following hand happened.  UTG limped.  Folded to me in the small blind.  As it did, I saw the Big blind a very tight player steal a look at his chips.  I know he's going to raise.  I look at 55.  I hadn't made a set all weekend and was overdue, plus I knew he likely couldn't get away from his hand if I hit it, and I could double up.  I decided I was going to call, and then call his raise.  I was hoping UTG would call too. 

Action went raise, call, call.  Blammo!  Five on the flop.   I check, he bets, I shove and he snap calls triumphantly showing Aces.  I show my fives.  Turn Ace ball. 
Crippled, I make it a couple more rounds until it's folded to me in the small.  I spy King-Nine suited and jam.  Big Blind wakes up to A4 and snap calls.  He missed, but so did I.
Hawkins, who has spent some time on TV was a fun player to play with.  He didn't win many arguments but he liked making them and stoking the fire.  I couldn't tell if he was arbitrarily messing with people but here are two debates he was on the wrong side of.  He told people that the rule at showdown on the river the player closet to the button has to show.  The table entirely rejected that with me saying that was only true if the river went check check.  If there was aggression on the river the player doing it had to show.  He called the floor and the floor confirmed he was right.  Ughh?  What?

Floor walked away and everybody at the table was confused including me.  Then we had some other questions like if there was a bet on the river and the guy not closet to the button bet, but didn't show could we ask to see his hand.  The same floor came back to explain the other issues to us, telling us condescendingly that he could tell we were confused and he clarify things for us.

He immediately reversed what he said earlier and "clarified" exactly the opposite of what he initially said was true.   If it's check check guy closet to button shows.  If there is a bet, of course the bettor shows first.    Thanks for clearing that up for us sir, and thanks for saying exactly the opposite the first time.

Later, we were debating NFL qbs and Hawkins told me Joe Montana was a system quarterback.  I said he thrived in KC too.  Maurice informed me, he didn't cement his legacy there and played like five years for the Chiefs leaving the 49ers at 28 or so.  He was a huge Montana fan so I should trust him.

That's not the way I remembered things, and I trust google better and looked that up.  He played 13 or so years for the Niners.  When he went to the Chiefs all he did was go to the Pro Bowl, win two come from behind playoff games and take them to the AFC Championship, I'd say he did pretty good in his second Act in the NFL.  He only played two injury filled years there but he was old and broken down and still successful.

By the way, that's one of the sports criticisms I hate the most.  A system quarterback.  They also lumped Tom Brady in that category.  Really, the system got him all those wins?  What system is that, the one where he has one or two serviceable receivers and running backs and still wins.  The same system employed by other teams and other quarterbacks without the same results. 

I know Montana had a great, great receiver, and some really good other receivers and offensive players but not every Niner quarterback since him and Young thrived in that system.  If a system was so easy for Brady or Montana everybody would be using it and everybody would be winning.  For a time, everybody did use the West Coast offense and guess what nobody had the success of Montana. 

Anyway, sorry for that turn of thought.  Rambling now.

For my backers, we only have one tournament fired and the rest to go.  I'll play tomorrow and Saturday, if necessary.  Tweets resume around noon tomorrow.  Again, thanks for the support.  We are due .  We'll get 'em.      


Saturday, January 05, 2013

New Years Money:

My sister got married New Years Eve.  She and my father danced to a slowed down version of "Sweet Child of Mine."  As one of my friends remarked that would probably be one of the top ten things he never thought he'd see in his life:  My dad dancing to GNR.

Thought the wedding went great and I'm really happy for my sister and her new husband.  The took the Flu with them on their honeymoon so it probably wasn't exactly what they had in mind, but while in New Orleans things went well.

Wrote a New Years letter.  Pretty positive response so far.  Tried to be outlandish and shocking as well as boring and proud.  Think it worked.  The boring part.

Played New Years Eve after the wedding and once again ran well.  I think I'm four of five lifetime on New Years Eve at Harrahs.  Ran pretty good so can't crow about the skill in involved.  Anyway, at the Beau Rivage now.  Played the first event as part of a package I sold to my friends.  I'm blogging right now so it must not have gone well.  Fairly card dead.  Thought I played well in a couple of spots and made a bad call in another spot.

Anyway, longer update next time.