Thursday, May 17, 2007

FTOPS #6 6-max, and Learning to Evaluate My Play With Poker Tracker

Out of nowhere last night I went on a nice little run in FTOPS Event #6, the 6-max nlh tournament. In fact, last night was a solid night of poker all around, as I avoided the cash games but instead I made the BBT points in the first Mookie I've actually been able to focus on in weeks, going out I think in 24th place out of 61 total runners. I also took second place and cashed in the Dookie:

This was a fun tournament of turbo PLO, a game I love to play, and I was up about 2-to-1 in chips in heads-up play when I managed to get my shorter-stacked opponent allin preflop with his TTxx against my KKxx. And you know what? The flop didn't have one Ten in it! That's right. It had two tens. Awesome. Nonetheless the Mook n Dook were both fun times as always, and picking up some BBT points plus a cool $21 and a very small ego boost never hurts either.

And all the while I was in FTOPS Event #6, which I opted to buy in to directly with some of my recent $400 nl 6-max cash winnings. In this one I did the play-tight-and-wait-for-good-cards-early thang, ended up basically sitting around between 3000 and 4000 chips for the better part of three hours, and then finally managed to double up a couple of times during the third and fourth hours of the tournament, thanks in one instance to my only flopped set of the night (77 on a gorgeous AK7 rainbow board), and in the other instance shortly into Hour 4 thanks to a redonkulous move from a big stack in the tournament when I seemingly steal-raised from the button preflop with QTo. He tried to resteal from me with a 3.5x raise of my already-large raise due to the escalating blinds, and I put him on the resteal so I re-restole and moved it allin, a move clearly designed for him to fold if my read was right. Well, my read was spot-on, but this big stack broke one of the cardinal rules of late-stage tournament poker: never get personally involved in a hand. At the poker table, if you want to play optimally, then it's never personal. It's always business. So you don't get involved with specifically targeting one player who won a pot from you earlier. You don't let another player's verbal actions put you on tilt and get you off your game. And you never, ever call off a huge stack with a hand like T9o just because you don't want to admit that a guy successfully put you on a resteal move. And that's exactly what this guy did, calling my allin re-reraise preflop with my QTo against his T9o, and I doubled up again to go over 100,000 chips and get into the top 10 in chips out of around 250 players remaining at the time.

The money spots started at 306 players remaining out of the 2555 entrants who originally began the 6-max nlh FTOPS event on Wednesday night, so by this time we were well into the money in my first FTOPS cash since last November's pot-limit holdem event, which I am also playing in this time around on Friday the 19th. In the end, I was around 25th out of 55 players remaining when this hand went down, where an active preflop steal-raiser put in another big open-raise from the button, and I elected to move in on him with my K8o from the big blind. Again this player made a questionable move, calling for all his chips with just QJo, clearly a -EV move over time in this spot and getting him allin for all his chips when he was behind my holding by around 60%-40%. Nonetheless, the board helped him hard and I was whacked down to under 80k after spending the past hour or more between 140k and 170k in chips:

A few hands later I took the requisite suckout bad beat elimination with a very small stack, and I finished out in 54th place out of 2555 players in FTOPS #6:

Although it's always frustrating going out late but before the final table payouts begin in a huge event like this, I did make some decent coin from the tournament, all things considered:

So I made over a grand for my fourth $1000+ mtt score of the year so far, which is always nice. And the online roll can always use an extra Large in there given the current environment making it more difficult than we want it to be to deposit money into these sites. And although like I said I am certainly frustrated to have gone out as the favorite in a spot that would've vaulted me back into probably the top 10 remaining players in the tournament, the bottom line is that in a 6-max tournament like this with as many players as this one had, once you're in there for going on five hours, you've already been playing largely preflop-push poker for at least a good 90 minutes previous to that time. These online tournaments are just not set up to last a long time, and by even the beginning of the fourth hour of play, almost anyone below the average stack remaining in the event is almost in push and pray time already. So to have survived and persevered through 3 or 4 hours of solid play, and then another hour+ of monkey pushing time, I don't feel too terrible about the way I lost. Obviously I wish I hadn't pushed with the K8o, and the idea was surely that I knew he seemed weak so he was supposed to fold his Q-high unsooooted garbage hands, but I'm sure from his perspective he (correctly) assumed he had two middle cards to my one overcard and one undercard, so he knew he was probably around a 40% shot to win and he went for it. I think it's a bad play for sure in this spot in a big tournament, but I can't make him play it the way I would, and his logic isn't bloggerly the worst thing I've ever seen at the poker tables. And in the end I broke my 6-month long FTOPS no-cash streak which is awesome, won a grand which is nice, and hopefully I've now set myself up for a nice run either on Friday in the PLH event, and/or on Sunday for the vaunted FTOP Main Event with its $1.5 million prize pool. I'll bet 54th place in that badboy will give a lot more than $1022, that's for sure. Hopefully I'll be there to find out in just a few days.

Before I leave you for today, I thought we could look at my very, very statistically insignificant stats from just a few days' use of Poker Tracker. I know that 100 hands is not even remotely close to worth relying any serious analysis on, but it's all I got, and frankly I'm really into it at this point since I've just downloaded the application and am interested in seeing what there is to know about my own and other people's play. Incidentally my PA HUD is still not working at all, and I'm beginning to think it is just a Vista issue and that HUD maybe does not actually work with Vista, which would be really annoying because they won't admit that it is not properly compatible with Vista. But the more I read the boards and the forums out there, the more I see people complaining about HUD not working on Vista, and the more I see suggestion after suggestion from the HUD guys that just do not seem to be working for people. I'm going to keep trying but in the meantime my Poker Tracker stats are all I have to go on right now. I've collected data on a number of 2-4 and 1-2 tables I've sat at over the past week or so, and here are some interesting things I've seen:

First, at the top of the screen here are my positional stats so far from the weekend's play:

So interestingly, I am playing highly profitable poker from the blinds, the button and even under the gun, but it appears that middle position so far has been my biggest money drain through just a very small number of hands.

At the top of this screen are the hand stats for my overall play:

What stands out to me here is that I am at 28% VPIP which I think sounds about right, probably right around the middle of the range where I'd like to be for my game. I also see my preflop raise percentage here is over 18, which is definitely higher than I want it to be, probably also indicative of some nice cards and good situations for positional steals in the hands I played over the last few days. I see my Went to Showdown % is 31%, and Won at Showdown is 57%, both of which are ok I think -- all things equal, I wouldn't mind seeing a showdown slightly less than 31% of the time, and I'd like to win more than 57% of them, but both of those numbers seem about right to me. And looking at my play in the blinds, where I won more than half of my profits for the weekend sessions, and I see that I'm laying them down to steal attempts around half the time, which seems about right to me, and that I am attempting to steal the blinds right around 40%, which I also think is right around where I want it to be for my game. Many people steal less than I, but in 6max with my aggressive nature, 39% is a good place to be for blind steal attempts. In all these numbers seem fairly normal and good to me, if not a bit more aggro than optimal, but again if I got some good cards in that stretch then that's all good in my book, but I'd love to hear if anyone sees anything in these very preliminary numbers that does not sound right to you, in particular if you have experience evaluating the figures from poker tracker or another comparable program about your own poker play.

Now here is an interesting screen shot given the conversation here about winning with one pair in cash games over the past few weeks:

You can see up at the top of the screen there that "one pair" is far and away my most profitable hand situation over just the 109 hands I recorded with Tracker over the past week. Of course I was also profitable with two pair, straight and trips hands, all normally winning hands in holdem, but that one pair figure really jumps out at me, so there may be something to the fact that at 6max, players are just way more aggro than at full ring games, which I'm sure is generally true, and maybe that means that one pair hands are more profitable plays overall? I don't know, and as I accumulate more hands on Tracker I'm sure I will come back to this discussion point again in the future.

And lastly here are my summary stats for the period I tracked this week:

Here what sticks out most is the 87 BB/hour figure, which sounds very high and I assume is probably not sustainable over the long term. Out of all those players on the screen -- the most profitable players on my Tracker database thus far -- my VPIP appears to be a bit lower than the average, although not so much so, and again I think 28% seems perfectly fine for that statistic. Similarly, my preflop raise % of 18 looks to be around average for this group of the most profitable players I've run into at the tables, although I believe in general I want this number to be a bit lower than the 18 it is currently at (and I notice that 3 of the top 4 winningest players I've seen are 6% or lower for this figure, not sure if that is usual or not as it sounds a bit on the weak-tight side for me). If anything, the biggest thing that jumps out to me from comparing my summary stats to the most profitable players I've seen is again that Won at Showdown figure, where I am at 57% which at least is over 50% so it's not terrible. But when you look at it, most of the really profitable players are higher than 57%. Ideally I'd like to get my W$SD stat up closer to 75% than 60%, which I think is right where I want to be in order to play the best game I can play.

OK that's all for today. See you tonight at 9pm ET for the next BBT event, Al's Riverchasers tournament on full tilt (password is back to "riverchasers" this evening), and I may or may not play in the O8 FTOPS Event #7 tonight as well, we'll have to see what is up at the Hammer Household when the time comes.

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Blogger ZachSellsMagic said...

Late update today, eh. The number of times I checked for a new one this morning is slightly disturbing.

Congratulations on your run in the shorthanded event. Good play finally rewarded.

- Scazmatic -

12:46 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Nice run, Hoy.

12:47 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...

Congrats on the FTOPS cash.

I don't mean any offense here. I understand what you are trying to do with these stats but 109 hands (about 1 table hour at 6 max) doesn't tell you anything about your game. I probably have 109 hand stretches where I was 300BB/100 and other 109 hand stretches where I was -300BB/100. Also, table/player/card conditions will significantly vary over a small sample and level out over a large sample.

To get a true picture of your play you probably need 100k hands, but can start getting a little bit of an idea at around 10k hands. The biggest thing that might not show up in the smaller samples is the inevitable suckouts that occur.

I would say any PTBB/100 over 5 when multi-tabling NL cash games is very good and 7-8 PTBB/100 when single tabling NL cash games.

An interesting idea would be to post your stats at 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k and 100k hands to see where they fall.

Keep up the good work at the cash tables.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

Nice cash Hoy. I see that your stats are similar to Lynette Chan's...

2:09 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Top 2% is a fine warmup to final tabling the Main Event on Sunday.

3:06 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

Man, I hope you get your PokerAce to work. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I know people who have it working on their Vista systems. Maybe try e-mailing PokerAce directly if the forums aren't helping.

3:26 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

28% VP$IP is on the high side IMO. Its a style that can be played profitably, but you are going to be in a lot of tough spots. I usually hover around 24%.

18% preflop raising is great IMO. I think most people play so passive pre that putting pressure on opps and taking control of hands is a big part of winning in cash. I wouldn't want this to drop at all if I were you.

W$@SD is a stat that can be very misleading. It is very style dependant. Mine is usually under 50% and I am very ok with that. I am trying to play small pots with small hands and big pots with big hands. So I show down weak a lot in smaller pots, which isn't terrible. And since I am trying to build big pots when I am very strong, my opponents fold a lot when they are behind, which stinks. However when the end results are combined, I am usually showing down a winner when the pot is big. I am usually around 47-49%, but almost always positive in money won at showdown. I guess what I am saying is, I wouldn't worry to much about this stat.

3:34 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Nice run in the FTOPS!

4:40 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I like that you left out the part during your FTOPS run where you hit the miracle 10 on the turn with your A10 to double up when you were just inside the money.

Everyone has to suckout to get deep though, great run man.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yes yes I sucked out on someone once in this event, my first real suckout in probably a month in a big mtt, and yesterday's was in a big spot no less. I didn't think to mention that any more than I mentioned that I got sucked out on four separate times in the tournament, and still lived to 54th place and a thousand dollars richer to tell about it. Big deal.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

still runnin an gunnin... very goot tah see Hoy, congrats!

5:05 AM  
Blogger EN09 said...

Nice FTOPS run hammer! Congratz!

I'm donking the 6-Max LHE at 'stars since I have cash there and not into the complexities of a transfer. Today's 273 hands played, show a 20.5/10.9/2.03 for 16.61BB/100. (VP$IP/PFR/AF)

PT is an outstanding piece of software. Only wish I knew how to FULLY utilize it.. Run off at least 5,000 hands and see where you're at. Best wishes.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

my previous comment was meant to have more sarcasm implied...i guess it was missed. i'm not coming onto your blog trying to insult you.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Island Bum said...

Congrats Hoy on grabbing some of that cash.


11:15 AM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

No comment section on your latest post, so I'll post here. I was surprised to see you mention the chop of the points. As far as I know Al put an end to that a long time ago. You can not chop points, only money. You must play for the points and the official win...

11:44 PM  
Blogger oossuuu754 said...

Ok since hoy broke down and bought PT, I guess I will too. But can someone please explain the basics of the cryptic VP$ and ectt. I dont have time to cruise nor patience to read 15 million post on the Poker Tracker Website. Is there a Poker Tracker for dummies that explains what the hell someone with 20.5/10.9/2.03 means and if this is good or bad. For the love of God I feel so stupid.

1:54 AM  

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