Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gambling regulation....Hold up.


I may be in the minority here, understandably. What is seen by many to be potential landmark legislation to regulate internet gambling would certainly prove to be a boon for the federal budget to the tune of 40 billion dollars. However, it is incredulous to me that countries like Russia and the entire Eastern Bloc can gamble at will on these sites, while we are subject to potential regulation, and as is, technically playing illegally in the face of a poorly written law that has more holes than the Wire Act? All that aside, our government, which we should all remember was established ahead of the footprints of Puritans who sought religious freedom, are once again flouting their inhibitions like the FCC. The United States has long been the laughing stock of more liberal societies for reasons ranging from censoring nudity and profanity to lambasting political figures entrenched in scandal. To dictate how we should not spend our money on gambling pursuits is just another in a long line of puritanical embarrassments.And unfortunately for all of us, the players are bound to suffer.

And here's why.

1 .For starters, Full Tilt and Stars will almost certainly be denied licenses as they have operated
illegally in the States, and one of the amendments on the bill essentially block the potential for any online site to get a license if they have committed that act. So, get ready to move your funds over, and welcome brick and mortar organizations like Harrah's and MGM to set up their online operations, and of course, welcome back Party Poker, who kept in line with the law

2. Licenses cost money. Therefore, look for the rakes to rise. Gone will be the days of firing up low-stakes tables in hopes of making profits, because rakes will increase and rakeback deals will dry up.

3. What little profit you will gain from the sites, it will now be rigidly taxed.

Granted, regulation may spawn a 're-boom' and litter the landscape with fish, but with Uncle Sam sweating our action, will we really reap the benefits?

I, for one, doubt it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

At the house of Dawn Summers: I Had Outs tourney July

In truth I almost didn't go...I got up late and didn't really feel the poker juices flowing, but considering the recent decline of live poker activity in the Big Apple, I decided to go anyway.

Upon arrival I realized it was Dawn's birthday(although I suddenly re-remembered F-Train's humorus post and realized I forgot), and our host had already consumed a good amount of wine. Now, Dawn assured us that alcohol did not play a part in her slurred speech and birdie-finger pointing in the night's festivities, but of course, all we can do is take her word for it. :)

I bought in for double ($60) as I always feel empowered by starting with as many chips as possible, and I pretty muched hovered around tha starting stack of 6000 until right before the end of rebuy after 80 minutes when I shoved J10 on a J-high board, fully aware that I would gladly rebuy for $60 more if need be. Vinny held AJ, and I donated about 5800 to his stack at break's end. REEE-buy!

We got down to 6 players not long after that, with Ross, Kearns and I short-stacked. I had a fairly good feel of everyone at the table...Vinny was the big stack and at 400/800 he was 2.5BB raising about 30% of hands, Dawn was playing tight, so I knew it would probably inevitably come down to a shove showdown with Kearns, Ross or myself once I got below 10BB's, unless Mary got involved, who is a little more game than Dawn to get involved with a shove. I had KK and limped and let Mary call, flop came dry and she checked, and I shoved. This was the only time I had tried to extract any value post-flop, and it worked, but otherwise there werentt many other opportunities....I did hit QQ, KQ, 1010 which I all shoved and got no action and chipped me to about 6000 when we got to 500/1000, and I came across K10, Ross goes all-in and I feel like I can't really wait 6 handed...he shows KQ and it holds, out 6th.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Switch to Stars going well

After posting a pretty sweet profit multi-tabling on FT, I was forced to cash a good chunk of it out for life expenses, so I decided to start the SNG grind on Stars! Here's my graph so far, grinding 27. 45 and 90 mans at the oh so lowest of levels. Granted, when you only play $1/$2 SNGs, you're only going to average .30 per tournament, but this is how my grind started on FT 3 months ago and as I moved through the ranks I ended up with a healthy bankroll I've had much more variance in the early going this time, hovering right around a 20% ROI.

Upon reading Dusty Schmidt's book, Treating Poker As A Business(which I recommend to all), he pooh-poohs the concept of grinding SNG's, advocating that cash games are really the only way to go if you want to see poker profits. Well, that might be true, but I don't find cash games to be particularly fun online. I enjoy tournament structure, as that's where my strength lies, and while I could put some oomph into studying more and improving my cash game..why spoil a good thing?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WSOP Circuits open up...

Read all about it here... I think it is great that they are lowering the buy-ins for the Main Events. It will definitely be a +EV call to try and satellite in here, and should you cash in one, it might be worth your while to travel elsewhere and try your luck beyond the two AC destinations(for us NY'ers), as the top 100 in points get to play in a championship tournament. Thanks to the minds at the WSOP for doing this!

Monday, July 12, 2010

AC Trip

In what was definitely one of the most anticipated trips this year, I was headed to AC with Bonnie while she helps run the Tribeca Film Festival event on the beach at Caesar's, and this could only mean one thing...four days of poker.

Granted, it didn't really turn out that way. A lot of events transpired which, since this is a poker blog after all, will not be discussed. I will leave it to say that while some parts of the trip were a bit stressful, in the end I think a lot was gained from the stressful interlude. Now, on to the trip.

The TFF people were treated in style, and we had a suite on the 43rd floor in the Centurion Tower, with awesome beach views. We were alos sailing on a $100/day dining credit, which we didn't really use as much as we could/should have. Anyway, after gazing out at the beach for a few minutes, I descended on the Caesar's poker room.

I had set aside $400 for the trip. I figured this was reasonable, as it would hopefully leave room for some cash and some of the smaller buy-in tournaments available. Things didn't start so well.

About 20 hands in my trip 7's were cracked by a straight, and my initial $100 buy-in was gone. I slide in another Benjamin, slowplay a nut flush against trips and make it back, and leave after about one hour up $25.

I heard lore about the sort-of new Bally's poker room, and let me tell you, it is a bitch to find. Once I found it, I was amazed to find what was one of the peculiar highlights of the trip...a $1/$1 No'Limit Table? It was sporting a $100 max, so I had to check it out.

What a table full of poker degeneracy. Basically the gist of this game was limp, limp limp limp, 7 handed pre-flop lottery. So, yours truly started raising, causing commotion. I was basically just doing this for information, so I could see who would play back. One Crazian was more than happy to, and about 10 minutes in he called my $10 raise with 4d5d. The flop came a crystalline 545, and I checked. Crazian makes it $17, and I call. Flush draw hits, and I Hollywood for about five seconds, and check. He makes it $40, I sit back in my chair, and after about 10 seconds of Tony-winning hemming and hawing, I call. I don't remember the river, but it was a brick of some kind, and I start thinking of what might end up looking like a blocking bet on my part. so I risk $20. Sure enough he shoves, and I call, and he tables AA.Woohoo! Then someone says 'Go spin the wheel.' Apparently, if your aces get cracked in the room, you get to go spin a wheel where you can win comp dollars and what-not. A large African-American fellow who appeared to be a regular said "Too bad they got no Ipod no more on that wheel," so I guess the eceonomy had affected the wheel's payout. Off the Crazian went, and he never returned.

After a few ridiculous drawing hands, I decided $1/$1 was not for me and I left the double having doubled up plus $25, and I'm now up $150 for the trip.

Then poker ended for a while. Too much to go into but let's just say I needed to set things right with the gf, so a trip to Tiffany took away my bankroll profit and an unnamed amount more, so let's just call it the new zero.

Right before the end of the trip, I go to Showboat to enter the $60 buy-in tournament. I chip up a bit here and there, one big bet with AQ on a q high board took down about 4000 to chip me up to 14K. About 10 minutes later, I find myself with AA UTG. an interesting error on my part...the blinds had just raised to 200/400 and and I threw in 600, thinking we were still at 100/200, so the dealer says, "That's just a call." essentially concealing the monster I had. Others limped, and we were about four handed, when an innocuous rainbow flop with a J appeared. I led out for 2200, and a guy in MP announced "All-in," and shoved in 10K and change. Well, if I get swung out with a set, that's fine. I call. He tables AJ and I find myself at around 30K by the first break.

Then the crash. I wake up with 99 after about 20 minutes of card deadness. Someone ahead makes it 1600 in 400/800, I call, and one other older fellow calls. Flop comes Q-10-9 rainbow, giving me trips. I make it 3200 and the older fellow calls everyone else is gone. While this guy was fairly tight, I felt like he might just be trying to draw to a straight, and if I saw what appeared to be a brick on the turn, I'd shove, exposing myself to JK or J8, with JK being a more likely possibility since he called the pre-flop raise. Either way, I don't see calling a raise with JK in MP as a completely horrible play, but when you consider the initial raiser was uber-tight and I had tabled monsters when I was in, it seemed unlikely that he had JK. Turn comes a brick and I waa already decided. I shove and he snap calls with the nuts, sure enough JK. I'm down to 2800 chips at 400/800 and bust three hands later. Oh well!

So, I can't really report on a definite bankroll total for the trip. For once, AC was not just about poker for me.

And that was just fine.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Turning to the Super Turbo

As some of you know, I've been putting in tons of volume across the SnG world, and have been achieving some pretty stellar results. The more volume you put in, the less variance you experience, as long as you put yourself in a winning mindset and make correct decisions. Sure, 12-tabling sng's is not finesse poker, but it is still a palpable skill, and my ROI overall is currently about 19% since May 15, when I started this endeavor.

I've found a new baby, though. I played these 54 man hyper-turbos back when jamyhawk was into them(he may still be), but I had never done the $2 ones. There's just, well, a lot of bad play going on down there, and they fit WELL beneath my bankroll...but there's 200% ROI on a win ($48). Well, I've recently been grinding these 6 at a time, and my ROI is currently about 250%. Either I am running insanely good or I am making the right decisions when they count! Granted, my bankroll is now dictating I could play these at $10 or even $12, but I am finding that I am getting, well...crushed a bit at the higher levels, as that is where all the regs are. So, without a doubt I am going to be incorporating these into my regular stable of sngs as I watch the bankroll slowly creep up to that $10K end-of-year goal!!!