Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A few new things.

Layla : So two guys you were best friends with in law school fell in love with each other?
Sonny : Yeah.
Layla : Is that strange for you?
Sonny : Uh, nothing changed really. They watch a different kind of porno now.
"Big Daddy"

Finally! I got to put in some quality time last night on the digital poker tables, and I tried out a few new things for me (see, it wasn't just a clever title). First off, I entered my first non free roll tournament, and then I tried my hand at some micro limit tables, and even ventured away from no limit holdem for a little while.
Over on Aloha, I had a look at the tournaments ready to roll, and the next free roll was a few hours away still. Having a look, I decided to try my hand at the $2 + $0.20 Seven card stud hi/lo. I have played a few free rolls and play money seven card hi/lo game before, and I have usually done very well at them. This is either because a) none of the others know how to play it properly, b) I have had a dream run with cards or c) I'm just really good at this game. I thought it was best to have a shot at this tournament to see where I stand, and here are a few observations of the tournament.

Most noticeably, it is far less popular than holdem, we all know that. Only 23 people sat down at the table to play. Nobody believes in folding pre-flop, which I think you still should do if you have crap like 3 8 Q or the like. I don't like having drawing hands in any type of poker, I need something to start with. Also as a general rule I do not use re-buys or add ons. I'd like to hear what other people think about this as in this particular tournament it was very popular - 23 re-buys and 6 add ons. The starting prize pool was $46, in the end first place got over $60. What are everybody's opinion on re-buys? Please post them below. I do not re-buy or add on because I prefer to win with what I was given, no mulligans no do-overs. But then again I suppose I didn't win and somebody that went the re-buy route did, so where does that leave me? Because of that style of play, every other player was seeing at least 5 cards, where I was the only one prepared to fold before seeing 4. Was this too conservative? I only pulled one half-pot when I was the only person who qualified for a low and took bugger all from that. I was out in 22nd, but really higher than that because there was already 15 or so re-buys at that stage. I never even looked like taking a high pot, but maybe that is because I was folding a lot more than everyone else. I would really like to hear everybody's comments on re-buys and seven card stud hi/lo in general.

Time marches on and I try my hand at the SNG at Poker Pages as I usually do. I play the 1 BBP mostly, and occasionally the 10 BBP + 1 BBP tables if I feel game. I won my first at 1 BBP in quite good fashion, and then placed 3rd in another when my AQo on a flop of (3 Q 8) was beaten by a pair of threes. There was a third Queen on the river, but it was no good by then as my set was beaten by a full house, but I was in the money anyway. Feeling good, feeling pumped I decided to throw in the big bucks ($0.11 to be exact) and try the bigger limit. First hand I am dealt AKs, and I raise. Two callers, one re-raise. Since you only start with 15 BB, the re-raiser had put in about 11BB to the pot. I went all-in over the top of him as I thought he didn't have AA or KK as he would have gone all-in instead of almost all in. He pauses for a moment, then calls and shows Q9o. What luck, that is a piece of shit hand to go all-in with on the very first throw. Naturally, a 9 fell on the flop and I never improved. Yesterday I get beaten by K9, today was Q9. I was surprised at myself how annoyed I was at that hand. That is something I will have to work on I think. I really like to make a move early and it cost me here.

I also decided that after loosing my $2.20 at the seven card stud I should win that back to make the day a positive, as I was now down about $2.30 or so, or nearly 10% of my bankroll. Everybody talks about table selection, and I know nothing about it. That's another reason why I like the tournaments because the table selection is done for me. But at least I did think about it this time, and I think I made a good call. I looked at the $0.05/$0.10 tables (the lowest possible here) and saw that while the maximum buy in was $5, the five people sitting down were all under that amount. Now everybody can afford to sit down with the maximum at this table, only an idiot would walk in with half of that amount (as I have done twice before), so this leads me to believe that somebody else was at the table, won a few dollars off these schmucks and then left. This means that everybody at this table could possibly be pissed off, and poor at poker. Well, with no more knowledge than that I put my $5 down and decided to sit for a while to make up for my tournament loss earlier.

Again, I decided to try something different. I am a very tight player, and not aggressive enough so I decided to see if I could change that just for this game and see how it went. First hand, dealt poker pair and I take it down. There, that was easy. I set myself a goal now of not only making back the lost tournament entry but I must turn a profit as well. Up and down I go, and I manage to scare a few people away from the pots I wanted. There seems to be one more player who is slightly aggressive but I keep pushing off pots. I know he is gunning for me now. In one hand, with very little action on the flop I bet with a pair of Queens on the turn, he calls. The river is an ace and I bet again, but this time bigger. 10 BB bigger, a full dollar. He thinks, calls time and thinks some more, then calls and shows a pair of aces. Damn, maybe I was trying too hard to be aggressive. That put me back below the starting point of $5. I work my way back up slightly then I see a smaller stack go all in pre-flop and I have the Hiltons. Yeah, I say it is worth a call - he shows 43 suited, and I take this one big pot to put me over $9 and it is see ya later, I'm out of here. I made my little profit and dinner was ready 2 minutes later, so it was a good night of poker for me. The hit and run was limiting my profit, but I had set myself a goal and then had achieved it, so I will leave the rest till some other time.

I did sit down at another free roll tournament a little later, but not much excitement happened for me. I did see on the very first hand again three people go all-in. They showed AA, KK and 77. A seven on the river means that AA and KK both got cracked on the very first hand and were sent packing. Wow, that used to be me that happened to. I was eventually knocked out when my jack high flush was beaten by an ace high flush. So-so play, didn't really make any waves but made it to about half way I think.

So that was quite a poker binge to quench my thirst, and I did turn a profit so I guess you have got to be happy with that. I am still really puzzled by the seven card stud, but I'm sure I will improve with experience on that.

Looking around the blogging kingdom, with me still being the "World's Greatest poker Blogger Ever", I have noticed some nice work from
TTRoadster over at Poker roadtrip. Nice style going there, and I have the nerve to complain about my "distractions" at home. This guy has a 10 month old baby to contend with! Well done on getting 4 consecutive second place finishes in the SNG's, any win is a good win I always say (but rarely adhere to). It is a nice blog and is now added to my poker reading activities.

That will do for now, and I hope to get some more quality time in tonight to continue my experimentation and maybe add a few more bucks to the tally. Please, if you have read this far then post some comments about seven card stud and re-buys in tournaments, I am really clue less about this so far.



DuggleBogey said...

I try to stay away from re-buy and add-on tournaments. I have played them at Prima sites (The Gaming Club, Royal Vegas, Aztec Riches) and they are pretty much a joke. I saw a guy go all in on 5 straight hands, lose the first four and rebuy each time until he tripled up on the last one. It's like playing the lottery or something for some people. This guy has to finish in the top 5 just to break even at this point.

The one I was in was a $3000 guarantee, and there were only 189 people in at $10+1. I thought "no way will they make the guarantee." There were 198 rebuys not including add-ons. The total prize pool was over $4000. I have looked at a few since then, and ALL of them have more re-buys than initial entries. They even have re-buys into their freerolls now. I bet they are making money on them.

JW said...

'Sup Heafy?
Don't have any thoughts on 7stud hi/lo other than, I don't play it.
Re-buys and addons? Always have 1-2 re-buys ready in a re-buy tourney. I think add-ons are for suckers unless they double your stack. You obviously play to win (cash) with only one buy-in, but why handicap yourself by refusing to re-buy? Re-buy tourneys are crazy and are the definition of bad-beat land. If you are going to play them, be prepared to re-buy once if it makes sense. It doesn't make sense if you re-buying will give you significantly less than the chip average, or the blinds are excessively high. In other words, if you are near the end of the re-buy period, you can probably forget it, unless you can re-buy and add-on almost immediately to get yourself enough chips to contend with.

Uwannabet? said...

Re-Buys and Add ons blow.


doubleas said...

I view rebuy/add-on tourneys as 3-4 times bigger than the buy-in. I'll usually rebuy at the beginning or soon after. I view those tournaments as starting after the add-ons. I try to position myself around the average stack while spending 3 times the buy-in amount. I figure that if Joe Schmuck puts in 3x, then I might as well do the same so as to not be at a disadvantage to him. I won't add-on if I'm really short-stacked or have a ton of chips.

I've seen online pros rebuy 7-8 times in these trying to build a stack in order to compete for first prize. There is a story out there somewhere about Daniel Negreanu rebuying some outrageous amount of times in a big buy-in tournament.

I played in a $100+9 rebuy tournament last year trying to win a seat to Aruba. I now realize that I basically had no chance at winning considering I wasn't willing to rebuy or add-on even once. My thought was that the rebuy was ok because everyone else would be contributing to the prize pool. What I didn't realize was that I'd have to triple up in the first hour just to be in contention. Not very likely....and that was just to be average.

doubleas said...

I think blogger ate my comment. Not going to retype the whole thing, but I'll summarize with the fact that I plan on spending about 3x the buy-in trying to be an average stack or better after the first hour. I don't want to give an advantage to my opponents by starting the 2nd hour as a short-stack.

pope rek said...

First off I'd just like to say great post. When it comes to rebuys in tournaments I'm strongly against them. In fact I'm not big on Rebuy/Addon tournaments in first place because they encourage shitty play (you know people looking to double up early playing the likes of 69s, etc..., however, on the other hand rebuys are good because you can get a lot of chips early by people playing overly aggressive with meager holdings).

Also in rebuy tournaments it seems that the levels are shorter, which I despise as well. As far as Rebuy/Addons go for me, I rarely play them but when I do I will only rebuy if the entry was $10 or less...anything over $10 and I don't rebuy, but I may addon depending on my situation at end of first break.

I still think your best bet in a tournament is to play in a non rebuy event that has levels of fifteen minutes. This structure seems fitting for better players because there is enough time to play enough hands to build up a stack. I'd also like to point out that I think your best bet when it comes to tournaments is to qualify in satellites. Not only do you get great experience by playing the satellites but you save yourself money in the long run. Also it's cool to be able to say that you've won a tournament with an initial investment of like three bucks - or something like that. Take care!