Monday, February 01, 2010

Full Tilt Double Guarantees Week in Review

Well, double-guarantees week has come and gone on full tilt, and I am left to give my impressions of the whole experience.

In a word, it sucked. For me, anyways.

Perhaps I should re-phrase that. The promotion was, I am sure, a raging success for full tilt, as I regularly saw between 100,000 and 125,000 players logged on to the poker site all week long in the evenings. This, after usually averaging around 80k or so prior to this week. So in absolute traffic terms, doubling the guarantees was an absolute bonanza for business.

And it should be mentioned here again that I played a lot of mtt's during double guarantees week. And I mean a lot of em. And yet, I never even one time saw a single tournament that had any overlay at all, despite full tilt doubling the guarantee and never that I can almost ever recall attracting enough players to any mtt previously that it ended up doubling the stated guarantee. But whatever full tilt did to get the word out about the 2x Guarantees promotion, it worked, because the tournodonks came out of the woodwork. They flocked to full tilt mtt's this week like it was their job. That, and holding the late registration open for these tournaments for nearly a full hour after their stated start times, much like pokerstars has been doing for some time. I imagine that at least part of this promotion last week has a market-research bent to it, and that the full tilt marketing gurus will now spend some time huddling over the results, boiling things down to what they learned about their traffic by the conclusion of the promotion, and I would not be at all surprised to see full tilt soon announce that late registration will be kept open longer for all tournaments for the foreseeable future, mostly because I don't see why they wouldn't do that as long as there are people still willing to pay full price to enter these events even having missed as much as 10 or 15% of the total time in play in the tournament before they joined in. But anyways, one way or another the upshot here is that full tilt managed to increase their overall sit traffic tremendously -- I would venture to guess by 20-33% overall during the entirety of double guarantees week -- and they did so without even having to pay one red cent of tournament overlay, at least in what I saw along the way.

It also does not fail to escape me that double-guarantees week happened to come at the exact same time as Rush Poker debuted on full tilt. Give the new Rush games a couple of days to work out any kinks, and then right away bring in all the tournament donks and overlay chasers to the site with the double-guarantees promotion, prominently featuring promos for the All-New Rush Poker all over the site of course, and then let the two play off of each other. Get some of these tournodonks to start playing regular cash at full tilt on the Rush tables, and full tilt can literally completely transform the rake structure they can expect to earn from the site forever. Plain and simple. So this is another way in which I am sure the double-guarantee idea was a very successful one site-wide for full tilt.

So given all of the above, why did double guarantees week suck so bad? Because it literally attracted every tournament monkey who has ever watched a single episode of poker on ESPN or the Travel Channel to come out and try to nab some of the large coin available. And that is just so not my bread and butter when it comes to mtt play, and I was unable to successfully adjust during the short time of just one week of inflated tournament prize pools to benefit from this influx of donks.

I cannot tell you how many times I got essentially eliminated from a tournament this week by somebody who had absolutely no business whatsoever even being involved in the hand in question. I mean, guys calling preflop raises from me in early position, when holding a veritable monster like 53o and then flopping trips against my pocket Aces on a completely non-threatening J55 board. Or the inevitable monkey-caller with AK unimproved on the all-rags flop against my middle pair, then hitting one of his six outs after the money gets in. Or, there's always the Harringbot who feels so desperate with his chipstack that he calls my allin with Q7o preflop against my pocket Jacks and then (of course) flops the Queen that he obviously knew was coming all along. And, in addition to the plays like this, you've also invariably got to add in the suckouts that always go down in crowds like this as well, just mathematically speaking. I mean, when you are getting all the money in ahead 10 to 15 times a night at an average clip of maybe a 70% favorite -- this builds in all the times its my AK against the other guy's AQ or A9s, all the times I am allin preflop with Aces or Kings versus a lower pocket pair, and all the times my AK gets called by QJ or T9s as well -- the math dictates that you're going to take a lot of suckouts, many of which are going to be painful just given the nature of poker tournaments. Even if all stays to form and I win 70% of those chances, that means I am taking 4 or 5 potentially very stinging suckouts every night -- many of which when I am 80% or better to win -- and then multiply that by seven since it happened every single night of the past week, and the end result is that I am about as burned out on online mtt's right now as I ever get. The unique dynamic of getting all these largely inexperienced tournament monkeys together to play all night last week meant that, at least for me, it was exceedingly easy to exploit someone into a double up -- I must have amassed top-20 stacks in 8 or 9 different tournaments over the entirety of the past week -- but also very, very difficult to avoid getting donked hard by one of those same monkeys somewhere along the way.

So at the moment I am feeling a kind of mtt burnout that is normally only usually reserved with me for just after some very long, deep run in an mtt that had me playing the same game for many many hours over multiple days in a row. And in a way, I guess that's exactly what I did last week, with unfortunately nothing other than a few minimal cashes on full tilt to show for it. I don't think you'll be seeing me tonight in any true multi-table tournaments as I am going to need some time away from that structure after the past week. I may still donk around in some sngs, cash or maybe some turbo satellites -- as I recall the ultra-juicy FTOPS satellites had just started up again for FTOPS MMMMMMMMMDCMDCMDXMCDXMDCXMCDXMCDXMXDCIII coming -- but my mtt play is going to need a little breather here in order for me to recharge and to get the mtt hunger back that I know is so crucial for anyone who expects to make a deep run through a large field of players in a no-limit tournament.

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Blogger Bayne_S said...

It's the monkeys calling jams for 20+ BBs with 33, 44, 55 and cracking my aces that killed me in 3 different double guarantees.

It's just unfathomable to be that these monkeys will call the 3rd raise preflop with a baby pp.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I saw more people call allins for large stacks with 77 and below this past week than I've seen in the past 3 months probably otherwise. But then, the guys calling allin with AK unimproved after the flop are just as bad in most cases, and arguably worse.

2:14 AM  

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