Monday, October 13, 2008


After numerous emails, girly chats and some blog comments as well, I thought I would give an update on my poker play of late (imagine that). Apparently a number of you out there have been assuming that the reason for my not posting much about poker over the past month must be that my poker play has been suffering.

In reality, my poker play has been profitable and enjoyable for the most part over the past month or two. First, I had begin dabbling once again in no-limit cash games after reading Harrington's recent book on cash games. I plan to write more about that book in a later post, but suffice it to say that I have never taken beats like I have in nl cash over the past couple of months, and as a result, my results have been dismal. I mean, I would runner-runner a crazy backdoor nut straight, only to find that my opponent rivered a silly boat on the same card that made nut straight when it matched his pocket pair. Or I would river a hidden set but that card would also make a sick backdoor straight for my opponent. Add in the fact that I've been playing 6-max, where the 2nd nuts is almost always worth putting in all your chips, and it's been some of the sickest beats I have ever seen anyone take in my entire lifetime of playing poker. You don't even read about beats this bad, because everyone knows that no one would believe them even if they even tried to say this stuff has actually been happening to them. Nobody runs as badly as I have run since the end of the summer in no-limit cash. So that has gone horribly for the most part.

On the bright side in the cash world, though, are the pot-limit O8 tables on full tilt. My lord are these things cash cows if you know how to play the game well. I try not to play anything below $200 buyin tables, because the play gets so god awful below there that, especially with a game like Omaha, you're just begging to get sucked out on given all the draws that this game features. As I've written many times, I am a vicious suckout victim and as a result I won't go near limit Omaha since it not only allows but basically requires the chasedonks to chase all night long. And no-limit Omaha is available as well on full tilt, but I think you have to be just an action junkie to play that game since in Omaha it is almost impossible to be that far ahead before the flop and really even on the flop. Omaha is a game that is made for pot-limit play, and that's where you'll find me most nights these days, usually at the 1-2 or 2-4 6-max O8 tables. To say it's been going well there would be an understatement. I'm not sure if I've quite made up for 100% of my nl cash losses at O8 over the past month or so, but it's pretty close, and it might even be more than those losses. Suffice it to say, O8 has been making up for my holdem play of late, and it's a good thing because otherwise my holdem losses would be all the more demoralizing given the way those hands have gone down for the most part.

I've been donking around in some sitngos over the past month, with mixed results. I've had a couple of solid wins, but I had a bad streak in there maybe a month ago or so where I lost way more than I won over a period of maybe two to three weeks. Since then I've recovered nicely, including already winning three FTOPS satellite seats in upcoming FTOPS X which runs in early November. Yes, the FTOPS is back already, I know. How full tilt thinks it helps them to run this thing every three months is beyond me, but then again I'm the fonkey playing all the sats every couple of months so maybe they know more than I think they do about what they're doing with the full tilt online poker series. But with the FTOPS sng's back in the house, I will probably be hitting up one or two of those per night when I'm playing, mostly because they are generally hugely +EV for someone who knows how to play the underlying games well and is adept at tournament play.

And this brings me to my bread and butter, multi-table tournaments. As my longtime readers know, mtts have always been my best game, and they continue to be to this day. I enjoy them the most, I perform the best at them, and in general it's the mtts that I look forward to playing even some days while I'm still at work going through the motions as a lifetime member of the rat race like most of the rest of you working stiffs out there. In mtts, I also went through a bad stretch maybe 6 weeks ago for a few weeks where I barely cashed in anything and felt pretty helpless about it. Since then, however, I really found my game and I've been on a nice tear. I haven't written about it because I never really viewed the blog as a place just to brag about my poker accomplishments, and I just haven't had it in me to do the detailed tournament recaps I have enjoyed doing in the past given all the stuff going on with the economy and the stock market of late. But in a nutshell, I have made a couple of nice scores on sites other than full tilt over the past few weeks as I have really refocused my mtt game while the market has collapsed, and I have had my usual number of sick misses on huge chipstacks late in big tournaments thanks to redonkulous suckouts and horrible draws by my opponents. Also, on full tilt where I still play the most, I have had an awesome month, including final tabling the $100 one-rebuy one-addon tournament for the first time a couple of weeks back for a decent score of somewhere around a grand, I don't remember exactly how much. Most of all, though, I have continued to pwn the 50-50 like I am me and it is someone leaving a dumb comment on my blog. I think I have final tabled the 5050 on full tilt three times in just the past couple of weeks, most recently busting out in 4th place just a few days ago for more than $3100. This goes along with another three or four top-70 finishes in this thing, and to be honest I don't think I've gotten in really behind in any of my eventual bustout hands in any of these deep runs, as the switch just flipped some weeks ago and I have been completely dialed-in in my mtt game, about as much as I ever get, which has been just awesome.

Again, I know usually I would have been posting about all these nice runs, with my usual slant towards showing the big hands in action, discussing the decisions I made along the way and trying to boil things down to some helpful things for myself to focus on for future poker tournaments. But the thing is, the situation in the stock market and with the economy at large over the past five or six weeks has been truly historic, like, once-in-a-lifetime historic, and it happens to be an area in which I am extremely interested and also fairly knowledgeable and experienced in. My guess is that now, after last week's absolute market carnage, most of you out there totally realize how historic this situation is, but for me I have been fully cognizant of that even since early September, and that's why my blog has focused almost exclusively on market events since then. Longtime readers here know that I have always written about whatever has been on my mind here at the blog, and when it comes down to it, I've been very public about planning to expand beyond my poker focus for a good couple of years at this point, and writing about the market and the economy lately has been a perfect outlet for me to do just that. This does not at all mean that I am abandonding my poker focus on the blog, but rather just that you can expect to see me writing more about the market and the economy for the foreseeable future than I had been in the past, in addition to my usual focus on poker, sports, televsions and any other annoying or interesting things that I run into in my daily life. Nowadays, I never know what topic I'm going to be writing about tomorrow, and at least for me, that has become a very welcome and fun aspect of the blog, and something that has helped to keep both it and me refreshed even after nearly 1000 original and -- hard to believe, I know -- sometimes lengthy posts. It's all part of what makes this blog uniquely mine, and hopefully you will all come along for the ride.

So who can tell me, is I Am Legend worth watching or not? I started it with Hammer Wife this weekend, but she fell asleep within minutes of it beginning and I was thinking about watching the rest of it one night this week.



Blogger Mike Maloney said...

I really enjoyed I Am Legend up until the last half hour or so. I didn't much care for the ending. It felt like the movie was building up to this certain event happening at the end of the movie, only it ended up going in a completely different direction instead, which I didn't get at all (Turns out the logical ending was received poorly by pre-screened audiences, so they changed it; shows how much they know, it was included on the DVD as an alternate ending).

I think the idea for the movie is cool, and I really enjoyed Will Smith's performance, but I doubt you'll enjoy the ending, which is too bad because I liked it other than that. So yeah, do what you will with that.

11:16 PM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

It's a pretty decent movie. I definitely think it's worth a rental. I didn't think the ending was too bad, actually. I think you'll like it if you don't have really high expectations.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I do not have high expectations at all, from the reviews I have seen and heard so far. So maybe I will pop it on tonight during my 5050 final table run and see what I think.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

hoy i for one enjoy your poker articles especially the way you take us thru the thought process. Its like getting pokerxfactor free.. but i also really really enjoyed the other articles on the banking crisis maybe because I once worked in the field and thats my background. I mean I own the books Barbarians at the gate as well as Big Deal by Bruce Wasserstein. plus I have a close family friend who is well known for his work thru Resolution trust during the Savings and loan crisis.

Maybe you can spinoff the nonpoker stuff into another blog and keep writing on that too if you are going to keep at it. youve really managed a pretty bipartisan review of the whole mess.

1:39 AM  

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