Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mtt Update

Still haven't had the time to do a proper recap of my score in UBOC Event #4 a few days back. It's just hard to find the time this week in the evenings with all the double-guarantee tournaments running all day long on full tilt in addition to the rest of the UBOC series on UltimateBet. If I don't get to do a real recap, I might just post the two or three most significant hands for posterity's sake, but hopefully this is something I will get to in the next day or two.

In the meantime, I had my first cash in a big mtt on full tilt of the past three days, a tiny score for just a few hundy in the 150k, which is double the usual 75k guarantee which runs nightly at 8pm ET for a buyin of $150 + $13. Normally this is a tournament I stay away from, because (1) I am rarely home in time to play it from the beginning anyways, and (2) even the few times when I have been able to play, I find the level of competition to be noticeably better than at the $50 or $100 level where my mtt play tends to focus. I think I've only cashed in this thing twice before in my entire life, so in that sense running through to the final 60 or so players was a nice feat, especially with the mtt being double its usual size, up in the 1200-player range on the day. But in the end, a run to the 60s just doesn't mean squat in terms of cash in a tournament like this, so I'll take my $300 profit and plow it back into full tilt's double-guarantee tournaments over the next couple of nights.

For the first night in a few, I did not participate in any of the UBOC events. They smartly have a "mini-UBOC" which runs the exact same tournaments as the big UBOC events at the exact same times, but at one-tenth the buyin. The problem with these events for me is that, for the most part, the mini UBOC events only have a tiny guarantee -- usually 10k or less -- and I just don't generally take the time these days to play any mtt without at least a 20k guarantee. I just don't want to go through the rigamarole and roller coaster of luck and timing that it takes to run deep in one of these tournaments, bust out in 4th place, and win what? $500? Definitely not worth it from my perspective. So I've been staying away from the mini UBOC events generally, but otherwise I think the variety of events in the UBOC has been pretty great, personally. They've had some rebuys at reasonable buyin levels, they've had some nice deep stack sniper (bounty) tournaments in the $100-$200 range, and they've had events in no-limit and limit holdem, both 6-max and full-ring, as well as plenty of Omaha and Stud events to pique my interest. As I mentioned yesterday I have built up a massive stack in a few of these other events but so far it has not translated to any big scores since UBOC #4, and on Wednesday night I was tempted by the $1000 buyin nlh event that seemed to be attracting all the big pros from UB's roster.

I originally registered for the 1k buyin tournament, but later unregistered after more carefully considering the situation. I have the money in UB thanks to my score last week in UBOC #4, but do I really want to drop a grand to play this tournament? It struck me how different buyin levels are at live vs online tournaments. In a live casino, a tournament with a $1000 buyin would be big, but nothing so huge in my experience that it would attract all pros or something. Not even close. For the most part, if I play a $1000 buyin event in a live casino in Atlantic City or Las Vegas, I would expect the average level of skill of my competition to be mediocre at best, with plenty of total donkeys in the mix ever-ready to get involved with subpar hands and try to suck out on someone even for $1000 a pop. But in an online tournament, the 1k buyin events in my experience tend to turn out a whole different level of opponent. I'm not trying to say these things are not beatable or anything, but in an online event, a 1k buyin tournament will generally speaking be comprised of mostly solid players, something I would never say about a live 1k buyin event. I've written about this before with respect to the Monday 1k mtt on full tilt -- that field every week is good enough such that my expected value from playing the tournament is measurably lower than when I play, say, the 5050 or a similar-level of buyin. The bottom line is that, for online poker play at the major sites available in the U.S., all the lower limits available make a buyin like 1k something that generally speaking only the best of the best tournament players are looking into.

With that in mind, I ended up unregistering from the 1k UBOC tournament and saving that dough for a better spot. Again, it's not a question of not having faith in myself or not thinking I can do it. I do have faith and I do think I can outlast anyone in the world in the right situation in a large-field mtt. But, that doesn't change the fact that my expected ROI of entering the 1k event is significantly lower over the long run that my expected ROI of entering the other tournaments I normally confine my play to.

Tonight's UBOC was much better as I recall, although I think there is only one of them instead of the normal two events starting simultaneously at 8:05pm ET. I think tonight's is a $200 or $300 buyin pot-limit Omaha event or something like that. Too lazy to look it up. But I checked on Wednesday night and I recall thinking that Thursday's UBOC would be a fun one to play, so I will definitely plan to be there at 8pm. I'm sure I'll make an appearance in the $26 buyin 28k guaranteed (56k this week!) 8pm mtt on full tilt as well, and you might even see me once again in the 40k (80k this week), $150 buyin mtt at 8pm as well. The 8:30pm ET 50k ($30 rebuy) that I won recently is also a distinct possibility. I haven't had a big cash yet in this week's double-guarantee festival on full tilt, but that won't stop me from trying. It only takes one great run to make up for several months days of mtt futility.

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