Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Playing +EV Tournaments, and Skill Series PLO Blonkament Tonight

25 runners came out to play in the first Mondays at the Hoy tournament of the new year, a year that will have 6-max no-limit holdem as the feature game for most of our weekly meetings. This made for a nice round prize pool of $600 to be awarded to the top four spots, and I liked the crowd that showed up, including a bunch of Hoy regulars as well as one or two newer players and even I think one first-timer, so to everyone I say "thank you" and "welcome" to the new players. Personally, I drew a tough starting table with 2007's #1 and #3 on the moneyboard Columbo and Bayne among my 5 starting players, but I played well early until getting more bored than I should have and making two wholly dumb calls with inferior hands, eventually busting myself in 16th place, about as high as I deserved to end up on the night. To tell the truth I was far too busy in sngs and in thinking about something KOD said to me earlier in the evening, which really dominated my thoughts more than any actual poker I was actually playing at the time.

In the end, once the tournament bubble burst and we got down to the last four paying spots, an equal chop was worked out among all four players leading to $150 going to each as a result in a fine example of blogger cooperation and collaboration. So here are the four cashers in the first MATH tournament of the new year, in the order in which they finished although of course it was just a pushfest once the equal chop was agreed to:

1. Jordan $150
2. Miami Don $150
3. Astin $150
4. Mike Maloney $150

So, as far as the other stuff in my head last night, I had a brief yet meaningful chat with Chad just before the Monday 1k started, and what he said really hit me hard, and the more I thought about it, I just knew it would be what I ended up writing about here today. Basically, I was chatting with Chad on the girly about the Monday 1k and why he of all people does not try to play this thing more often, being literally the best poker tournament player I know online, with no exception. And what was Chad's response?

Chad, the KOD himself, told me that he's never tried to play the Monday 1k and does not really plan to. He made the point that there is only like 5% dead money in that tournament, a point that frankly I do not disagree with. I mean, we could argue over whether the right number is 5% or 10% or 15%, whatever, but the point is a valid one, the field in the Monday 1k is largely comprised of solid players, at least people who could win the money with reasonably average luck and cards and breaks. Chad's overall point to me was that, all things being equal, he would rather play donks than play the field in the weekly Monday 1k tournament. Chad's last statement on the girly to me basically summed it all up: "I've just always viewed the $1K as -EV."

"I've just always viewed the $1k as -EV." That right there is a statement that never really occurred to me before. And yet now, I can't get it out of my mind. And this has nothing to do with me getting AK allin before the flop against QQ on the last hand of the first hour of the 1k last night and losing. I've played that thing three times, and I played badly twice, really great once and then yesterday, I again played very well, was up a bit and above average after the first hour but then got a guy who had restolen against me twice already allin in a pure race situation where if I had won I would have been top-20 in chips heading into Hour 2. So I think I've played fine in this tournament in my four shots at it so far. But I have never really approached playing this or any other tournament as something that might just plain be -EV for me overall. I mean, in a sense most tournaments out there are -EV for most of us in that we end up taking a heck of a lot less cash out of these things than we put in to it through buying in night after night. Such is the life of large mtt guys. Most tournaments we play in are -EV in a technical sense, just looking at the lifetime numbers. Sure I have plenty of individual tournaments out there -- including these 1k satellites for me for example where I could not have spent more than $750 satelliting in to the $1060-buyin tournament four separate times in my entire life -- where our numbers are +EV. In that $11 Rebuy Madness on pokerstars that I won I was way, way up because I only played it a small handful of times and then won it big. In just about every blonkament except the one I really care about I am surely net profitable over time. But I shudder for example to think of how much money I have sunk into that shiteating 28k guaranteed on full tilt, ever since back when it was a measly 14k tournament a couple of years ago, or various other tournaments I have played in time and time again.

So what I have to deal with now is that KOD, without a doubt in my mind the single best poker tournament playing blogger in our group, would not even take his formidalbe mtt skills up against the Monday 1k. And yet I do. Repeatedly now. And looky looky, I haven't even cashed in it in four tries, only making it more than 90 minutes in on one occasion out of four attempts.

So, am I wrong to be trying to play in this thing from time to time? Have I just been wasting my money when I've satellited into this event? What do you guys think?

I am just being the pompous ass that I am to think I can even run with these guys?

Blogger Skill Series tonight at 9:30pm ET on full tilt. This Tuesday's game will be Pot-Limit Omaha High, probably my favorite game to play in tournaments these days and something that I have had some success in, in both tournaments and cash games. I'm hoping we can get as big of a crowd as possible together to donk it up for a measly $12 + $1 knockout PLO tournament tonight, so come on out and play with the bloggers. 9:30pm ET on full tilt, password as for all the Skill Games is a very appropriate "skillz". I'm in for some PLO tonight, are you?

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Blogger BWoP said...

I am counting down the minutes to PLO right now . . .

2:31 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

No online pokerz for me tonight (sad, I was going to bust my Bodonkey cherry), but to comment on your $1k thoughts:

As long as you don't look at it as any more -EV than what you usually play, there's no reason not to take the occasional crack at satelliting in, but only if you can do so cheaply, say, having won a Tier 2 token, if there's a $75 buy-in satellite to it.

The fields are so strong that it's not a great idea to chase too many attempts at getting into a single one, only because there's more +EV ways for you to go after good wins, say, the $100 BIs.

Apologies for not being home to sweat last night.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

I don't think you are wrong at all for satelliting into that tournament at a cheap rate. I meant for myself the $1K is -EV because a.) I am not working with the roll I used to have b.) I would prefer to play against donks than vs solid players. Of course you have a disposable income and I am a full time student just trying to make it through college as debt free as possible. I think you should continue to take shots, one day you might get hit in the face by the deck and the $1K has a small field. But I really think it will require you to be hit in the face by the deck because you are playing people who do not care about the buy in, will bet you off hands more time than not, and they are generally better than all of us :) Not to mention the possible cheaters that have been popping up all over on line in the big tournaments. But if you can continue to get in cheap why not right?

3:08 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i think i've played the monday 1k once or twice. the field is much like the WSOP 1k satellite. extremely difficult. but, i still stuck with it mainly because it was a 12-1 shot at a WSOP ME seat. i never won my seat but, bubbled for $3500 once.

i like the fact that the Monday 1k is a relatively small field with a nice payout for the top 3 spots. but, it's a very difficult field to get through.

if you can satellite in on the cheap, i don't see why not try tho. playing in that kind of field will help you in larger buy-in tournaments.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

But the very fact that you think I need to get hit in the face with the deck in order to do well in this....that sounds to me like something I need to seriously consider whether I should be playing in it or not.

And yeah man, I have a disposable income. But I'm not interested in pouring money into online poker. I haven't deposited into full tilt in a good 18 months and I don't plan to anytime soon at this point.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

If I was in the position where my bankroll could handle it, I would try to take shots at it myself, even knowing that I'd probably be the deadest money in play. The experience of being in a tough field like alone should have some value to help improve your game. Dunno what your system is, but maybe it's something where after a big tournament score, or after x number of SNG victories, or x buyins at a cash game, you take a chance on a satellite. I say keep trying, but in moderation.

4:12 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Solution is so obvious.

Remote desktop into Astin's PC and play the Monday $1k with his account.

I am only surprised Chad did not think of it

4:29 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Chad's a pussy - reach for the stars and play it every week Hoy.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Yeah, reach for the stars like Fuel and his 1 for 89 $1K and above tournament steak :)

5:43 AM  
Blogger AnguilA said...

In order to be as good as possible you have to be able to beat the bad players first, but then you have to keep improving until you become great. And your decision there is if you want to be a grinder or if you want to take a shot at playing (and hopefully winning) with the best. Kenish or Mike McD who do prefer??
I say you keep playing in it as many times as your bankroll allows (always satelliting), because that way you'll be able to get better with good competition.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

You might want to go back and re-read my MTT satalites are for suckers post. I know you hated it, and thought I was completely wrong, but its main point was that you don't try to satalite into MTTs that you are -EV in. Thats why I don't play Sats. I am perfectly content buying directly into a MTT I feel that I will be +EV in. This includes most levels up to the 50/50 I guess. When I play the bigger buy-in ones, it is for the reason you do. I am taking a shot, but I know it is a -EV shot.

7:50 AM  
Blogger JD Schellnutt said...

I would suggrest you do what Smokkee used to do before he originally left FTP. He was having better success at the sats to the Sunday big buyin tourney than the tourney itself...so he would just play multiple sats to the event, since FTP credits your account the buyin after the first time you qualify. Given your success ratio, I see nothing wrong with continuing to grind the sats after you have initially qualified. Each additional successful attempt puts 1K in your account. The fields are obviously easier to cut through. GLGL.
JD (jerkoff donkey) Schellnutt

2:03 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

JD, that is a good idea. The problem with it is that, unlike the Sunday tourneys which have about 85,000 satellites running every day, there are comparatively very few satellites into the Monday 1k. And what's more, they are also all kinda hard to win, despite my success thus far in them. You're basically paying $69 or $100 to win a $1060 seat, so less than 1 in 10 players wins the seats and the sats tend to be kinda small as well. I barely ever play them and highly doubt it would be +EV for me to try to win two in the same week, despite my success in maybe 7 of them total so far.

Sometimes though I do wonder if I should just offer out my satellite tournament services to other people. You know, you tell me the big buyin tournament you want to play in and when, and then I log into your account and try to get you into it.

Would anybody out there pay me a flat fee of say $10 million a year to satellite into things for them like this?

Blinders, I remember your satellite post well. I think the question here is whether or not I am actually -EV in the Monday 1k, not whether or not it makes sense to satellite into -EV tournaments. The problem with that post is that there are tons o' tournaments that are a higher cash buyin than I would want to pay directly, and yet where I would definitely be better than the majority of the field (Sunday biggies, WSOP, etc.). That's why satellites are so popular and such great investments and why I think you got the reaction that you did to your post.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Blinders said...

I need to get my first hate comment in for the year. Before you go offering your Sat services to others, you may want to check your actual results on official poker rankings dot com. To me it looked like you were paying about $100 for each $75 token in the frenzies (over about 100 trials in 4 months). Your results may be better in some of the other sats, but the human mind has a way of distorting sat. results towards better than they really are. Just ask Waffles. He only counts the buy-in that he won the token on, and ignores all the misses.

11:23 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

so when are the 2008 Hoy Hater Power Rankings going up ?

5:53 PM  

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