Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Mookie, Rebuy Satellites, Playing Tight and Lost

I'm guilty. I ending up missing the Mookie on Wednesday night because at first I wasn't sure if I was ready to take another hideous beat and play like another donkey on my way to yet another non-cash and non-pointing in the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments. Thus, I didn't sign up for the thing, and when I finally decided I would go ahead and play it after all, I went to get in but saw that it was already 10:15pm ET, meaning I had missed registration and would have to sit this one out. It was almost surely for the best, as even though I got tilted last night in what games I did play online, for whatever reason that feeling just doesn't compare to what seems to be happening to me regularly of late with the blogger tournaments. Bloggers can just tilt me so easily, I'm not sure why but as I've written about previously I think it has something to do with them actually not knowing what they're doing is poor poker, and then me still losing in that situation. To me that is just much more frustrating than, for example, when I got beat by a poker playing blogger whose game I tremendously respect, who admitted before making the move that it was a bad move, but then did it anyway and hit a 3-outer on the river to send me home. That is a bad beat and truly frustrating, but not on the same level as when a total pokermonkey makes a donkmove and gets rewarded for it. That said, when I got donked out of a tournament last night in the 30k, not only did it knock me out of that event, but it tilted me such that I made donkey plays in both of the other FTOPS satellites I was in within the next 15 minutes or so, cashing in none of them on the night and never really even giving myself a chance. And yet, the night was still profitable for me overall, as I not only won another half a buyin over three $100 nl 6-max cash tables and about 90 minutes of cash play, but I also satellited in to the 30k not once but twice for maybe the third or fourth time this year, netting me not only my 30k seat (which ended in the tilt-inducing bustout mentioned above), but also $109 cash for my second satellite win. I love when that happens.

I love that 8:30pm ET $8 rebuy satellite into the 30k on full tilt. I would estimate that I play in that thing probably around 4 or 5 nights a week, and without a doubt my percentage of winning my seat in that rebuy sat is probably 85 or 90%. Maybe higher than that. I honestly only remember probably two times in the past month where I didn't win my way in to the 30k via that satellite. I also satellited in to the nightly 40k guaranteed tournament ($150 buyin, 8pm ET every night) this past Sunday in the first and only time I've ever played a satellite into that event, for which I chose the $12 rebuy sat that was running somewhere in the 5 o'clock (ET) hour as I recall. There is just something about those low-buyin rebuy satellites that really jibes with me. I've been working on a turbo satellite strategy piece off and on for a few months now, but I'm just going to give you here my general buyin strategy on playing the low-$ rebuy satellites, and hopefully that will help some of you fund your own way in to some of the larger nightly guarantee tournaments on full tilt. Kajagugu, this is for you. Long overdue, and still just the first part of a larger turbo satellite strategy post, but for you nonetheless.

First and foremost, just like at a cash table, satellite selection is to me far and away the most important factor in getting in to the big events cheap. What do I mean by satellite selection? It's simple, really. Take the 30k, for example. Every night full tilt runs four satellites into this event between the hours of 8:00pm and 8:45pm ET. At 8pm sharp is the $3 rebuy sat. This thing usually has maybe 40 or 50 players, and in the end it awards usually 2 or so seats in the larger 30k that night at 11pm ET. Because it's a rebuy and because the buyin is just so low, there is an incredible amount of donkitude, and this can make it very hard to survive, even after the rebuy period is over. Nonetheless, I like the rebuy sat structure as I mentioned above but the reason I don't play this thing anymore is that is just awards too few seats in relation to the donkitude you have to survive in order to get to the promised land. So I choose not to select this satellite -- and keep in mind your bankroll is a large portion of the decision here, for which mine does not need to play a $3 entry event -- because although I like the structure, it's just too hard to win your way in even if you play very well and get a little lucky along the way too.

Next at 8:15pm ET every night is the $6 buyin turbo sat. This is not a rebuy, but the problem with it is, similar to the $3 rebuy before it, at $6 a pop to satellite in to the $109 buyin 30k, it simply awards too few seats to make it worth my while. You're usually looking at roughly 4 seats awarded out of 85 players or so. That's asking a high price for someone, even at only $6 a pop. You can run great, get quite a bit of good luck, and still end up out in 7th place an hour and a half later, and get nothing. Again, when your bankroll supports making this decision, which I know is a big consideration for a lot of you out there, I choose not to select this satellite either because it just awards proportionately so small of a percentage of its players a seat into the 30k.

I'm going to skip the 8:30 sat for a minute and jump right to the 8:45pm ET, $14 buyin satellite. This is also not a rebuy, but unlike its $6 sister before it, IMO this thing awards a perfectly acceptable number of seats in proportion to the number of entrants. At $14 a pop, basically one of out of every 7 players wins a seat. So, on a typical night there may be around 90 players. That means roughly the top 13 finishers will win their seats. It's not exactly easy to do, but anyone with good mtt satellite skills and a little bit of practice should be able to find their way in via this satellite at least a couple times a week if played regularly. And what more can you ask for really, in a chance to play a 300-person, 30k guaranteed prize pool tournament, for only a $14 buyin.

Now back to 8:30pm ET. At 8:30 is the $8 rebuy satellite, my satellite. I love this thing. And here's why. The buyin is only $8, so it's still cheap as balls. Same price as a peep token sng. The play is still horrible, as is to be expected in any $8 buyin satellite on full tilt. And on an average day, there are only maybe 40 players or so in this thing, meaning that, by the time all the monkeys rebuy and everyone adds on after the first half hour rebuy period is up, it ends up awarding maybe an average of 5 seats or so. And 5 seats out of 40 players is very good odds, especially again for a cheapo buyin like $8. It's cheap, it's got a good ratio of seats awarded to players entered, the play is bad, and as a rebuy tournament you have the chance to get back in if you get donked out on a bad play, bad beat or whatever anytime during the first 30 minutes. All these things combine to make for a really attractive tournament overall for me, and as I mentioned above I find my win rate in this format of satellite on full tilt to be astronomically high, and seemingly sustainable as I've been doing it night in and night out for weeks on end now.

Without getting in to how I play my cards or individual hands, which will be for that later post that I mentioned I've been working up for some time, let me just cover briefly my general strategy on buying in and rebuying, and how I approach the rebuy satellite tournament generally speaking. I probably am hurting my own expected return in this thing, which I play regularly, by even posting about it, but I do view the blog after all as a place to share my ideas, get your ideas, and swap winning strategies and plays, etc., and frankly I've gotten about a million hours of thoughtful analysis in the comments to the blog so I am happy to post this stuff. First of all, a number of people will rebuy automatically in all of these things, electing to start with double the starting chips and give themselves a good chance of doubling up big early and getting off to a prohibitively large chip stack within the first few hands. Although in many single-rebuy events I choose to do just that, in these low-buyin multiple-rebuy tournaments I tend not to auto-rebuy right from the beginning. I just don't really see the use. If everyone else at your table is starting off at 1000 chips and you double-buyin to 2000 chips, what is the practical usefulness of those extra chips (and that extra $8 buyin) to you? Answer: almost nil. So I don't do it. If no one else at my table has enough chips to double me up at 2000 chips anyways, then why would I bother paying an extra buyin to just have those chips sitting in my stack, not working for me and not doing anything. I wouldn't, so I don't.

Generally speaking, I don't rebuy at my table unless and until my stack is probably a good half of the average stack at the table, either by me losing chips or by everyone else gaining and/or rebuying to get their own stacks up. At that point it's kinda like buying in short at a cash table -- if I'm at 500 chips and everyone else has between 1000 and 2000 chips, or if I'm still at my starting stack of 1000 but 4 of the 5 other players at my table are now up at 1800 or above, then I want to rebuy right away because I want to be able to make maximal use out of my stack and my opponents' stacks if I do happen to get a big hand. But otherwise I don't usually rebuy right away, unless more than half of my table does rebuy right away, and then I do too. And otherwise, I try to wait for the good cards and not to get caught up in playing the kind of monkeypoker that you'll see many of your other opponents playing as is typical for Monkey Hour in many online low-buyin rebuy tournaments. So if I raise 3x from middle position with A9 and someone in the blinds comes over the top allin with a raise, I'm folding. And I don't care if he ends up flipping over 75s, 33, or AK. It just doesn't matter. I generally play the exact same strategy as I do in a non-rebuy tournament during the half-hour rebuy period.

The only other rebuy-related strategy tip I have for today's post is to say that if I am anywhere near the initial 1000-chip stack as we get near the end of the rebuy period (say, between 1001 and 1500 or 1600 chips), I will typically bet enough in one of the hands just before the rebuy period ends to get me to 1000 chips or below if I lose, so that way either I will win some more chips before the add-on, or I will lose the hand, get back down to 1000 chips, and then rebuy myself up to 2000 chips heading into the add-on period. This way, I can maximize my chip stack by the end of the rebuy period, and of course I will basically always take the add-on as well. For just another $8, you can purchase 1500 more chips as compared to $8 buying you just 1000 chips at the beginning of the tournament, so the addon is basically always a good deal IMO.

The end result if you follow this rebuy strategy in the low-buyin rebuy satellites is that, even if you get donked down to 0 chips just one minute before the end of the rebuy period, if you double-rebuy back up to 2000 chips and then take the add-on for another 1500 chips, you will go in to the regular freezeout portion of the tournament at 3500 chips and this will usually place you in the top 10 of the remaining players. For example, in that $8 rebuy satellite at 8:30pm ET, if you do just that and enter the second half hour at 3500 chips, you will typically be around 8th place out of 20 remaining players, with the top 5 or 6 finishers slated to receive seats. That's pretty great all things considered, especially for a guy who had just busted five minutes earlier. In general, I go into something like the $8 rebuy satellite hoping to be in for just $16 (one buyin and the add-on), but willing to get into it for as many as 4 or 5 rebuys if needed, plus the addon. That's what I love about the $8 rebuy. I can buy into this thing 5 times if I have to, and even still I'm only taking a $40 chance to play in a $109 buyin tournament, easily a good deal when I know I can basically ensure no matter what happens during Monkey Hour that I can go into the freezeout portion of the tournament in the top 10 positions.

As I said, I will have plenty more to say about how I actually play my cards in these 6-max turbo satellites, which is a particular brand of aggro and yet strangely formulaic poker that I have found tremendously successful and effective in most cases in online mtt satellites. For now, though, I want to talk for a minute about my favorite Thursday topic, Lost.

Lost last night was enjoyable. I don't think it was the greatest episode I've ever seen, as compared to last week which I did think was one of the best episodes of the show in a long time, but I have to admit I kinda like Desmond as a character, I find him to be one of the most interesting and freaky characters on the entire show, I love the whole seeing-the-future thang he has going on, and deep down he seems to be a really good guy. Nonetheless, last night just seemed more to me like all a big setup for this new chick to come hurtling out of the sky to their island. I wish there had been a little more Jack and a little more Juliette after the way last week's episode ended with Juliette, but as far as a show that was all just a big setup for the helicopter finale, I thought it was pretty good overall.

I'm going to give you my theory on what is up with this chick. I should begin by telling you that I never read spoilers, I don't believe in that stuff, although I do read some blogs and such where from time to time I might read various theories about what the hell is actually going on on this island. Here's what I think about it, and about this new chick out of the helicopter last night. I believe that the island on Lost is probably going to somehow end up being in another dimension, or in some other similar way not a part of the normal world as we know it. When I say this, I don't have an idea of any of the details or of how this could possibly be, but I have to believe that because otherwise, it is only reasonable that someone else would have found the island by now if it was on the normal Earth in our normal time, etc. I just don't see how it could have escaped being found for all this time. Two islands in fact, the one they are on and the one where the Others were hanging out for a while. That just doesn't make any sense to me, so I think in some way the island is not part of the world as we know it.

I think that when the Others are taking a submarine to transport to and from the island, they are probably not just submarining directly to another part of the Earth as we know it. More likely IMO is that there is some form of an entryway between whatever dimension or place the island is on and the real earth in the real current time, and that the Others can take the submarine to get to that entrypoint. For all we know, the entrypoint is somewhere under the sea and that's why they're alway submarining their way over there. I don't know. All I know is that I think that this "entryway" is probably going to be a very difficult and/or rare thing to get open to enable transport between the island-world and the regular world, and that one of the few ways that has been found to get that done in the past is to create some kind of a very strong electromagnetic field. One such electromagnetic field was created the day that Desmond first let the timer count down to zero in the hatch without typing in the code, eventually using his partner's failsafe key to shut it down but first taking down the Losties' plane at the very beginning of the show. I figure that electromagnetic stuff somehow caused the Losties' plane to "jump" between the dimensions or between the worlds or whatever, transporting it from the real world to the island-world and causing it to crash in the process.

This theory also fits with that weirdo scene that's never been mentioned or referenced since they showed it in I believe the finale of season II, when Desmond's woman Penny was sitting with those other two scientist guys in some Antarctica-looking place, talking about searching for something. If you recall, this was right after the second time the button was not pushed in the hatch and the electromagnetic shit started up again, causing the hatch to implode in the process, and turning the sky purple when Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sawyer were first captured by the Others and sitting tied up on that dock way back when. If you recall, in that weirdo scene in the finale, those two scientisty guys turned to Penny and said something like "we've discovered another anomaly" or something like that. Here's the way I see it. Ever since Desmond disappeared, Penny somehow knows something about what happened to him, and she's been searching for him ever since. How she knows I don't know (I imagine we'll find out over time), but she has been searching for the kind of electromagnetic anomaly that leads to an opening of this "transport" between dimensions ever since they picked up on the first one in the past, the one that brought down the Losties' plane to begin with, and when Desmond again was unable to press the button due to Locke's interference at the end of season II, that's when they found the second such anomaly at that sciencey station in the Antarctica place.

All this is a roundabout explanation for what I think happened in this week's show. I think that we will soon find out that this chick who came parachuting out of the sky was sent here by Penny. I think that whatever research Penny and the other scientisty guys are doing in the Antarctica place finally has led them to be able in a limited way to create some kind of a transport of their own to the island-world (in addition to however the Others can transport), and as a result Penny was able to send this helicopter and this chick on it through such a transport to the island-world (and as an aside, I would bet that any such "transport" between the dimensions in the air tends to disrupt whatever electronic systems any aircraft work on, and cause them to crash, such as with the Losties' plane and now this copter as well). I think she was sent by Penny to transport to wherever or whenever the island-world is, meet up with Desmond, which is why she had that picture of Desmond with her stuff when she bailed out of the crashing helicopter, and I am really hopeful that we are going to find out a lot more about this stuff from her next week. Hopefully Penny has found some kind of way to break through to wherever it is that the island is in relation to the "regular" world as we know it, and I am fully expecting the next several episodes of Lost this season to wow and amaze. Hopefully this all makes sense to you Lost fans out there, and isn't too ridiculous and boring sounding to the non-Lost guys (what's wrong with you, btw?) to read through and have to put up with every week.

Don't forget, tonight is the next BBT event -- Al's Riverchasers tournament at 9pm ET on full tilt. The password is "riverchasers8". I am on the fence about whether or not to play. I've been playing like uberturd in the BBT events so far, including even in my own MATH tournament which I was crushing the field in before the BBT started up, and more than that I've been going on maddening tilt almost instantaneously in just about every one of these BBT tournaments due to some reason or other, even while I'm doing really well in some other poker pursuits at the exact same time as the blogger tourneys are running. And the tilt is pissing me off. So, I may or may not play in Riverchasers tonight. I'm defintely not getting away from playing in the BBT events generally, as you can expect to see me in most of the remaining events I'm sure, but I just have to say not playing in the WWdN or the Mook this week so far has I think been good for my soul.

Here's my plan. I'd like to play Riverchasers tonight. But if I do, I will probably play on two conditions. #1 I want to try not to chat at all in the thing if I am able to keep myself from doing that. Normally I'm a big chatter and joking around and such, but I want to pretend like my chat feature is turned off like our AIDS-wishing friend from Vegas because I think that participating in all the chat is somehow one of the things that ends up pissing me off so much. It's seeing the donkeys justifying their calls before the fact, and then totally justifying them after the fact that just kills me. So if I do play Riverchasers at all tonight, that will be plan #1. Plan #2 will be to just fold until the points. I need to get back on that leaderboard with some more points. Anything, something. I watched a number of the tightest pussyplayers among the bloggers just limp and fold their way into the points in the Mookie last night from the rail, and I to be honest could not believe how some people are just focusing on making the points and not on giving themselves any chance whatsoever to actually win the thing, or even to make any money in the event overall. Now, as far as strategy for climbing your way up the BBT leaderboard, I don't know how that strategy can be questioned. But how people are able to just fold fold fold even their strong hands, strong flops, and even strong hands that hit strong flops like that is just beyond me. Nonetheless, just as an experiement, if I play the 'Chasers tournament tonight at 9pm ET on full tilt, that will be my plan. I want to see what you pussies play like every time one of these BBT events goes down (you know who you are, no need to embarrass anyone by linking), and frankly I want to see if I even have a small enough sack to play that way all the way through. So if you see me tonight at the Riverchases, I'm gonna play tighter than tight. Tighter than that guy, and that guy and even that guy, you all know exactly whom I'm talking about. See you then (maybe).

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15 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

Hoy,

I think that the "other dimension" theory is very much possible, although there are some interesting questions raised:

1. It seems that the Others are still able to communicate with the former dimension - that needs some explaining.

2. People only arrive on the island when the electro-magnetic stuff happens (i.e. Desmond arrives when Kelvin doesn't push the button, the plane crashes when Desmond doesn't, etc.) Now that the hatch is destroyed, does this mean that the portal is permanently open, so people like the parachuter can get through? If not, what allowed her (and Rousseau's boat, Yemi's plane, etc.) to get through?

Also, I think your theory supports an idea of mine: that they don't get there by submarine. I think the submarine is there to, as Ben said, create the illusion that they can leave when they really can't. I think they travel via other means, and then place the person in the sub for when they wake up. In the episode last week, Ethan mentions that Juliet "won't want to be awake for this ride." To me, that sounds like more than just a submarine ride. Plus, that would mean there are two portals - a sky portal and a underwater portal.

11:54 PM  
Blogger jjok said...

Ok, first things first.

Evangeline Lilly in her underwear is about as hot as it gets. Holy shit......

I bet the Sawyer actor guy actually did do a real life doubletake on that one.

WOW

Second, the episode was good and is another typical "filler" episode which introduces a new character. I enjoyed it too because I found the story interesting......even without giving us all the answers that everyone seems to want all the time.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Goat said...

Hoy,

I think you're spot on in saying location is key. Also, I think jjok is spot on about Evangaline Lily.

I think the question is not so much 'where' they are as 'when'. There are time-travel hints aplenty throughout this mythology.

Anybody notice the picture on the head monk's desk?

12:12 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

Weak/Tight rules!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

JJ, I'm with you on the Kate in the underwear thing. But please tell me, who the eff is wearing a frigging thong when they're stranded on a desert island? God I thought that was dumb. Much appreciated. But dumb as shite.

1:00 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

dude, u and i both know u can't play tight. ur gonna try some resteal move after whiffing the board with A7 and hit the rail.

GL

1:24 AM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

You're right Hoy. She should be full out naked... that would make more sense. They could have shot it in a way that she was in "commando mode" instead.

What I don't get is where the Portuguese fit in. The version the book they found "Catch 22" was written in Portuguese and the two men in the listening station spoke the same.

This show is messed, and I think that's what keeps us wanting more... more Lilly half naked thong wearing sneak a peaks. You perves (ok count me in) were probably trying to look down her shirt too... zip!

1:32 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

wasn't a thong......just a standard gstring bikini.

And HAAAWT

2:00 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Smokkee, if I play tonight, and that is a pretty big "if", you're gonna see some tightness you haven't seen since the likes of that former co-worker of yours. Watch n learn baybeee.

3:33 AM  
Blogger TripJax said...

who the hell are you talking about at the end of this post? color me interested...and clueless.

oh, and i had to skip the whole portion about LOST cause we are watching that episode tonight. I did catch a few notes in the comments. Apparently I might need the slow motion option on the DVR with all the thong talk...

3:38 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Trip, I'm just referring to the tightest of the tight players among our blogging crew. I'm not trying to call anyone out or anything (trying to stay away from that in the blog generally, except with Smokkee who deserves credit for some of his moves), but I figure most of us who play together often know who the tighty whities are. Not trying to be cryptic or anything, just respectful. Yes that's right, I actually do try to be respectful from time to time.

4:49 AM  
Blogger GaryC said...

what you talkin' bout Willis?

8:28 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

thanks for the post hoy. I haven't even had time to get to it as I have been around the world in 48 hours. I also have about 30 posts from you in my bloglines....

But I am glad you got around to it finally. And thanks for the links and generating 40% of my traffic in the last two days :-)

1:34 AM  
Blogger DP said...

Hoyazo, are you running Windows Vista? I'm curious after seeing the screen shot in this post.

3:38 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I am running Vista, DP, yes. Although not sure I see a screenshot in this post.

7:23 PM  

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