Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lost, and Big New Full Tilt Tournaments

OK I have a lot I want to talk about today as usual, but today I need to start with a comment about last night's Lost episode. And also, if you are visiting here on a link from Iggy, then welcome to you! I'm here ranting writing about poker every day, and as with mostly all of us poker bloggers out there, none of this would be here for sure without the BlogFather's influence. It's always an honor to be linked by the angry dwarf, so I hope you enjoy your time here and feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to add. Anyways, back to Lost.

Worst. Lost. Ever. By a mile. I mean, I could not believe how boring, pointless and downright stupid that thing was. That's what I skipped the Mookie for last night? For that piece of horseshit? Wtf?!! And let me be clear: I am not one of those clowns who's been bitching for the past month that they have to get everybody back to the old island and shit like that. I was looking forward to the action getting away from just the Others like it had focused on for the first 6 episodes of this season. But, I've told anyone who would listen that the last two Lost episodes were to me the two best episodes of the entire run of the series. It was just last night that was a fucking abomination, if even that word truly covers the badness of this thing.

I was going to say here that you don't need to worry if you haven't watched yet, there aren't any spoilers in this post. But I don't even have to. When you make a show that has no relevance to anything, and is utterly worthless and in fact so ungodly stupid that it's downright embarrassing, I don't even need to caution you. Wednesday night's show had nothing to do with anything, and it insulted the very intelligence of the viewers by how idiotic the plot was.

I'm so angry about that show, I know exactly what happened. I guarantee it. The guys in charge at Lost got sick and tired of all the complaining from the masses, the idiots, after they ran what they knew were the two best shows of the entire series back to back, and yet everyone still complained because people are lemmings and just say what everyone else is saying without even thinking for themselves. So, after the guys in charge heard one too many complaints about "getting everyone back to the old island", even after the kickass Desmond episode followed by last week's really interesting Jack-centric episode, they finally broke. I can see the conversation now, over at some high-up floor at ABC headquarters just about 20 blocks south of my apartment in New York City:

Exec #1: Can you believe these fucking jackholes still bitching about the original island?

Exec #2: I know! Even after those last two episodes!

Exec #1: It's like they think they have the fucking right to tell us what to broadcast. Those little shits.

Exec #2: Tell me about it. Let's screw em!

Exec #1: Yeah! But how?

Exec #2: Hmmmm. Wait...I've got it! Let's give the fucking lemmings exactly what they keep clamoring for so desperately!

Exec #1: Ok, but does that screw the viewers?

Exec #2: Simple. We'll just make a completely pointless, worthless episode with absolutely no plot at all. Even the flashbacks will just be an extension of something we've already covered extensively in other flashbacks. We can even throw in a "celebrity" actor in some of the flashbacks just to cheapen those scenes even further. But, we'll make sure the entire thing takes place on the lemmings' precious little island. And we'll give em shit to watch for an hour. Complete and utter worthless shit.

Exec #1: Wow! You've really got a talent for this!

Exec #2 (sheepishly): Yeah well, I do what I can.

Exec #1: Aiight. So, are we sure this screws the viewers enough that they'll finally shut their pieholes and learn to appreciate this incredible series we've given them?

Exec #2: I think so. But how about this? Just to be sure, at the end let's throw in a completely ludicrous way to start a car that has no power at all just by rolling it down a hill.

Exec #1: But how the fuck can you start a car that has no power in it, just by rolling it down a hill? That makes no sense.

Exec #2: Exactly! That'll teach these fuckers! We'll just totally waste their time for an hour and insult their intelligence at the end to boot.

Exec #1: Incredible! Then maybe they'll finally shut the fuck up and learn to think for themselves!

Exec #2: Probably still not. But it'll be fun for us to try anyways.

There it is, folks. Actual quotes from the ABC studios a few weeks back.

Now let this be a lesson to you. Think for your fucking selves please. The last two episodes were the two best shows Lost has ever kicked out. Everyone complained because people don't think. And the producers stuck it to us all now. Everybody happy with their precious show back on the precious original island? Everybody love that hunk of cow dung last night? Complete and utter shit and you know it. For future reference, that's a bad show. Not the one about Desmond or last week's with Jack in the cages. Tell me something, which would you rather watch? Hurley getting power to a car simply by "popping the clutch" while the car is in motion (what a fuckjoke), or Jack in the cage screaming at the flight attendant lady about what the Others brought her here to "watch"? Which one?

In the future, please think before you speak about this show. If you just blindly repeat what the lemmings are all saying about this, stop to think for a minute about just who these lemmings are. The people. The masses. The same masses who are the reason why we have the electoral college instead of just a straight popular vote for President. The same masses who elected Jesse the fucking Body Ventura as the governor of a state (thanks Drizz) and the Terminator as governor of the most populous state in our country. Guys, it's the exact same masses that are the fish from whom we make all of our money from playing poker! It's those same numb fuckers that you're just blindly copying and repeating. Now stop being dunces and start thinking for yourselves. When you get a truly great episode of the best show on tv the past ten years, don't forsake it just because the same fish who calls 4 allins preflop with AJo says it was a bad episode. That's the equivalent of you being the fifth allin caller with your A2. Instead, be the guy who recognizes the great show for what it is, the guy who stacks the AJo allin caller early and often. Think For Yourself.

And that ends my rant on Lost. If you haven't seen it yet, don't bother. You won't be missing shit, and you will avoid being insulted in a way that you won't usually find on tv other than maybe when the WWE Raw is running. At least in the WWE there's hot chicks with big youknowwhats. Last night's Lost has nothing going for it at all, take it from me.

OK so back to poker. You may not know it, but this is a Really Big Day for all of us full tilt guys out there. Why, you ask? Because yesterday full tilt started running a fun new kind of multi-table tournament, and tonight they are starting another even more awesome kind of mtt. And I'm here to tell you what they are.

First, last night was the first time I've ever seen these things called "token frenzies" on full tilt. The token frenzy is the latest in a string of really awesome ideas by the guys who run full tilt, who are basically the complete opposite of the execs who decided to run last night's Lost episode. Basically, it is a large, regularly scheduled multi-table tournament which awards either $26 tokens or $75 tokens to a significant portion of the finishers, and yet does so at a very low buyin relative to what can be won. So, as much fun as the regular Anna Nicole Britney Spears peep token sngs are, these are a much larger version, awarding many more seats, and as you might imagine they are absolutely replete with donkeys.

Although I see that these token frenzy tournaments are running during the afternoons (ET) as well, for the nighttime guys like me, here's what you need to know. At 7:45pm ET every night, it appears full tilt will be running the $26 token frenzy. Here's what it looked like last night:

See that? 160 players, and 36 $26 tokens awarded, in what amounted to only about an hour and a half of actual play to get to the token awards. And the best part? It's only a $6 buyin. So for $6, if you have any mtt satellite skill at all, you basically get a better than 1-in-5 chance of winning a Tier 1 $26 token. Good stuff.

Simlarly, at 9:45pm, they're also running the $75 token frenzy mtt, which works just the same way. So here's your easiest chance to win those Big Game tokens, even easier than the $26, 18-person token sngs (trust me). From my one night of playing it on Wednesday, the skill level in this thing is no better than the skill level in any $14 buyin nlh tournament on full tilt, and that is to say that it ain't good. At all:

116 players, and 21 Tier 2 tokens awarded. And again, all for just a $14 buyin. That's better than 1-in-6 odds to get a Tier 2 token that can be used for the Big Game, or any number of full tilt's regularly scheduled guaranteed tournaments. And if you look closely at that $75 token frenzy screenshot above, you'll see a special name in 9th place there. I dominated this thing last night, sitting in first place almost the entire way after I amassed about three times even the second place player's stack early on, by busting donkey after donkey after donkey with not even nut hands. Take it from me, there's no easier way to get a $75 token than this on full tilt, and it looks like these things are scheduled for the foreseeable future at 7:45pm ET ($26) and 9:45pm ET ($75), so go take advantage now while the getting is hot.

The best part is, I haven't even gotten to what is by far the most exciting thing yet about the new mtt's available on full tilt, and for this one I have to give the initial credit to Change100 whose most recent post first spurred me to check into the nightly mtt schedule on full tilt. But tonight, the WSOP Bracelet Race satellites return to full tilt! That's right, the tournament that got me into WSOP Event #13 last year, is back starting tonight, giving us mtt satellite guys a full three months-plus to win our way in to the $1500 event of our choice. Actually, just like last year, the prize award is $2000, but it's paid out like in 2006 as $500 cash into your full tilt account, plus $1500 in "buyin bucks" to be awarded at the WSOP for use in any WSOP event buyin of any amount. To say I'm excited only scratches the surface.

Let me take a step back for a second here. First of all, once again I will not even be trying for a WSOP Main Event seat in 2007. The 12-day event or whatever it is is just too much time for me to take off from work, from my family, and from everything, so I won't even be thinking about that. That actually makes it easier for me in that I won't have to worry about playing all these double shootouts, qualifiers, etc. on pokerstars, nor these $1000 main event qualifiers (or the $100 satellites into those things) on full tilt. My big thing is the Bracelet Races, because I will definitely be playing in one of the preliminary events in this year's WSOP just like last year.

And I say "definitely", because I have extremely high confidence that I can win my way in this year, especially with over three months of opportunities to play my way in. I was chatting with Smokkee on the girly chat the other day, and we were both agreeing at how different things are for us this year than last year. Last year, I had just won the Party 40k tournament, but otherwise I had probably almost never even played in a multi-table satellite tournament awarding multiple seats when the Bracelet Races came around. I probably spent the better part of 6 or 8 weeks playing in these things several times each week to no avail, until that one day when I finally hit paydirt, in a $200 buyin sat that awarded I think maybe 5 seats out of I think 50-some players.

This year, however, things are completely different. I've spent the better part of the last 7 or 8 months really focusing my play more and more exlusively on mtt satellites, and as I've written about here many, many times, my mtt sat game is about as good as it can get these days. I've qualified for the nightly 30k tournament through the nightly mtt satellites probably 20 or 25 times over the past two months. I've won my way into the weekly HORSE guaranteed tournament on full tilt probably 10 or 12 times over the past 20 weeks or so. I've satellited my way in to the Winner's Choice tournament probably 6 or 7 times since December. These mtt sats are now something which I play all the time, and I have had quite a bit of success with them. Anyways, what I was telling Smokkee the other day was that, while last year I remember literally not being able to even believe I had just won a WSOP satellite, this year I can honestly say that I can't possibly believe that I won't win a WSOP Bracelet Race seat. And that's a great feeling to have.

So anyways, here's what I'm seeing so far for the Bracelet Races on full tilt, including a number of very smart mtt satellites into these Bracelet Races by the brains behind full tilt, as I've always said, easily the best online poker site in the world:

So there's your first Bracelet Race, something I will almost surely be playing in tonight -- Thursday, 9:30pm ET, a $26 buyin HORSE mtt for a $2000 WSOP prize package. Yummy.

Now, on Friday at 9:30pm ET is another Bracelet Race, but this one is a little different from the Thursday flavor:

A $30 rebuy. I love it. That's a bit pricey for what I normally like to spend, but I'd be lying to you all if I told you I won't be taking a crack or two, especially with me having won my way into two of the FTOPS tournaments, including the Main Event, in big rebuy satellites.

Full tilt is also running a regular $216 buyin Bracelet Race on Friday night at 11:59pm ET, which is actually the exact tournament I won my WSOP seat in last year. And my personal favorite part of all, is that this year for the first time, full tilt is running a full slate of lower-buyin turbo satellites to get into this $216 buyin Bracelet Race at midnight. First you've got this one:

So there's a regular $14 turbo satellite on Friday at 9:10pm ET. Then there's also this one:

a $14 turbo rebuy satellite at 9:20pm ET, just ten minutes after the first sat above. Then, just another 20 minutes later is this turbo sat on Friday:

Just a regular, run-of-the-mill $26 buyin turbo sat, again to that night's 23:59pm ET $216 buyin Bracelet Race, which will award prize packages to one out of every ten players who enter.

So in all, full tilt is really going out of their way this year to make it as easy and as cheap as possible for all of us to win our way in to the preliminary WSOP events this June at the Rio in Las Vegas. Again, you'll have to check with someone else's blog about the Main Event sats, as that's just not something I'll be focusing on this year, but I know guys like Fuel and Smokkee will certainly be hitting that shit early and often, so go check in with them as time rolls on to see where it's at with the regular WSOP ME scheduled tournaments.

OK I think this is long enough already, and frankly I'm just too juiced up for that HORSE WSOP sat tonight and the beginning of a long slate of WSOP sats starting today to write more right now about yesterday's Hilo starting hand question. Let me just show you what I did with yesterday's hilo hand:

So yeah, I raised it up. I have no idea btw if this was the right move or not. My thinking is this: I've got 3 guys in the pot already who all are probably going low (the Ace would almost surely have raised instead of just calling if they had another Ace underneath), and because of that Ace, the other two high cards after me are likely to fold. So, since we're basically looking at just a bunch of low hands, and guys who are almost sure to call a raise since they've already put in a half-bet here on third street, I wanted to get as much money into the pot early with what I was basically sure had to be the best low hand at this point. If I can't be confident about my 5-low on third street, then I'm a punk. And I'm no punk. So I raised it up, knowing these three other low guys would call (which they did). And yes, a lot of low cards were already out, but frankly those other low hands were under the same constraints as I was with all the low cards already out of play, so I still figured why not raise it up and get as much money into the pot early as I can since I know I'm the favorite for the low right now with my three cards to a 5-low to start. Obviously many of you disagreed with this approach from your comments, and as I said above you may be right. In general when I know I'm ahead of multiple other players going the same direction as me early in a split game hand, I tend to raise to add to the pot early on when I know I have the advantage, and this has worked well for me overall as a strategy. I'd love to hear if anyone thinks this is a poor strategy as a general matter.

In case you're wondering how this move ended up for me, let's just say I had a little bit of "trouble" hitting any more low cards, and yet I managed to take down the high half of the pot anyways, thanks to picking up runner-runner-runner Sevens on 5th, 6th and 7th street:

Brilliant hilo strategy right there, folks. And I was just one low card suckout from my heads-up opponent at the end from scooping the entire pot too. Stick with me, I know my shizz in hilo. Ha ha.

CC's bash is tonight at 9:30pm ET on pokerstars. I plan to be there, but you'll have to forgive me if my focus is on winning the HORSE sat for the WSOP. It's Bracelet Race time again baybeeeeeee!

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Blogger Pokerwolf said...

(the Ace would almost surely have raised instead of just calling if they had another Ace underneath)

The other reason the Ace would raise is if he had two other low cards. So, since he didn't raise, you can immediately take to the bank that the guy a) doesn't have a pair of aces and b) doesn't have three to a low. It's also possible to add c) that he doesn't have AKQ either, since he'd raise there. AKJ/AQJ is also a longshot to get eliminated (although those guys tend to call a raise, like the guy who won the low side of the pot).

I think your raise is an excellent play and most Stud/8 strategy I've read says that if you have three very low cards you should raise. You never want to have someone with an upcard lower than you allowed into the pot with a worse hand than yours because he can outdraw you.

245 is a fantastic two-way hand and it has a decent chance of guaranteeing you at least half of the pot.

One tip for you though: Playing low card hands where you hit paint on 4th street is a -EV play in Stud/8 cash games. Tournaments, especially sats are different obviously, but you still should play that shizz carefully because you could be drawing to a three-low hand when other people are drawing to a four-low. Not a good place to be, obviously. I don't know how much Stud/8 strategy you really know, so I'm babbling about everything just in case.

10:36 PM  
Blogger iamhoff said...

GL on the satellites...hopefully I can find myself in some of them also. And on the hi/lo hand, I see no problem with your rationale. Besides, I've noticed in most limit games in general, Stud and Razz in particular, once the bet levels get into the hundreds, people become much more hesitant to ride out a questionable hand. Of course getting running 7s surely didn't hurt, but running 7s rarely hurts! Nicely done.

10:40 PM  
Blogger TripJax said...

May have to join you at some point in some of these satellites. I'll IM you if I'm ever able to get in...

Love the excitement you have for these things...makes me want to play them as well...

10:48 PM  
Blogger CEMfromMD said...

Great information on the Satellites for the WSOP. I saw some of them last night, but your breakdown of what is avialable it fantastic. Good luck with them! Hopefully I will be able to win my first WSOP seat this year myself.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

I am -$484 in WSOP sats at Stars in a week. Time to try the rigged site?

I think I played 4 of the $200 bracelet races last year. Whiffed one, cashed two and won one.

I figure to play 50 and win 10-12 is a good return and an easy way of financing the WSOP.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Matt said...


Couldn't agree more about Lost. Last night was a waste of an episode. There wasn't anything done to advance the storyline other than (spoiler alert) Kate seeking Rousseau for help. But of course, anyone who watches the show immediately knew who Kate was looking for when she went off for help.

Don't you just love how they ended the show with that suspenseful dialogue! "There's a girl on the island......and she's......16.....and her name is.....Alex....and she could be your daughter."

Who didn't already know that! And the whole bus thing was retarded too. I'm surprised they didn't just use the beer as fuel and power the bus that way.

This episode reminds me of the first season episode where they built the golf course, although that episode wasn't as cheesy throughout. I like Hurley's character as a supporting one, but anytime he's the main focus of an episode it seems to take away from the intensity of the series.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Matt, you are *so* right about the stupid convo with Rousseau at the end. Like you said, if you didn't know who Kate was going to see as soon as she didn't answer whose help she was seeking, then either you haven't watched the show so far, or you're a doofus (or both). Obviously Alex was Rousseau's daughter, and we've known that for about a year now it seems. B.F.D.

What a joke. Seriously man, the beer as fuel would have been better then just "popping the clutch" and having the frigging RADIO come on and the engine start up. I still can't believe they even tried that bullshit.

Now go win a WSOP seat tonight on full tilt!

12:43 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

lost blows. I happoened to catch last nights, which was prolly my 4th ever. The show just plain sucks. It is pointless and they make the shit up as they go along. Last nights show, may have been the worst show ever (let alone worst lost show). I will never watch that crap again.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Sometimes I feel like I agree with Blinders. We're into season three now, and the only thing that's happened is that they've created more questions that have yet to be unanswered. We don't really know why the passengers or the Others are really there, we know very little about Dharma...and seriously, WTF is up with the black smoke "monster".

I sometimes feel like my interest is artificial - I'm only interested because I've invested a lot of time catching up through DVDs that I just can't let go until I know what's going on.

If this show doesn't end with some big payoff, there's going to be A LOT of unhappy people in this country.

4:16 AM  
Blogger AB said...

Hi Hoy:

My first visit here, following a link from Iggy (whom we welcome home amen), and although I didn't watch lost last night, thought I'd mention that it's actually possible to pop the clutch and start a car that doesn't have any juice, as long as it's got gas, and you can get it up to enough speed. Stephen King mentioned the same method in "The Stand" and I always thought it was BS, until my standard car's battery was completely dead and I couldn't find anyone to jump it. I had a slight incline down out of my driveway, and a buddy pushing was enough to get the car going. I was completely amazed.

How to do it?

good post, but I don't play HORSE at all yet, so can't comment there really.

4:18 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

1. guess you never push started a car before.

2. LMAO @ black smoke "monster".

3. LOST is a riddle wrapped up in a paradox.

4. why spend an hour and 45 min trying to win a token in an MTT when the $8 turbos rarely take over an hour??

GL in the satellites

5:15 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

I wasn't bothered as much by the fact that they push started the car (I heard it was possible but yes i've never tried) as I was bothered by:

a) They've been on the island for a couple months now, and they NOW just come across a VW Bus? Haven't they covered most of their immediate area already?

b) None of them were at all curious why there was a bus there in the first place (I guess the whole "dirt road" blueprint was supposed to answer that).

c) They didn't even care to find out more about "Roger Work Man" or any other information about Dharma

If I'm stranded on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere, and I come across a bus with a deadguy in it, my first thought isn't going to be "let's go take this for a joyride".

6:50 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

smokkee, I guess it's the ROI that's more profitable in these "frenzies", same buyin for a higher probability of return.

Thanks for the summary, Hoy. I've been considering putting some money online (again, I've only done so once in the past) and now may be a good time to start.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Oh, and I gave up on Lost halfway through season 2. I realised then that I was just setting myself up for a disappointment.

And if I do put money online, I guess I'll finally start a poker blog.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

Good info about the satellites. Thanks.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Full Tilt has posted the schedule of all WSOP satellites on their website. Here is the link;

7:45 AM  
Blogger steveray00 said...

yes - you can start a car by popping a clutch. My roommate in college could only park his VW bus on a downhill or else we'd have help him to push start it. Its also a sort of a subplot in "Little Miss Sunshine". Must be sort of a generation gap thing (ie cars made after about 1990 usually start right up and most of them are automatics) that you have never heard of it or done it.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Wes said...

Lost's last episode was a travesty.

Actually, I have not really enjoyed this past season as they haven't really answered any of the questions about the previous season. Can't they at least tell me that the black dude and his kid made it off the island? Something, ANYTHING. Less questions, more answers PLEASE!

10:39 AM  
Blogger ou-ah-cantona said...

Love your blog... really good stuff on here, especially all the info about what's going on at

Good luck, and maybe I'll see you in a tournament.

4:42 AM  

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