Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Try Again

I played in the first big Main Event Seat giveaway on Poker Stars last Sunday. 8021 players for 233 seats.

I started out pretty well. I was never below my starting stack and was slowly chipping up without any show downs. Unfortunately I got no action at all when I picked up AA, KK, or even QQ.

Eventually I went broke when the blinds got high and I reraised my 10 BB stack with AK and ran into pocket Kings. No Ace for me and I finished in 2101st place.

Next Sunday is the Full Tilt 150 seat guarantee that I won last year. Over the last month, Full Tilt has definitely been a luckier site for me, as I have basically run through 75% of my bankroll on Poker Stars but have been steadily increasing my balance on Full Tilt.

My big concern is that even if I win a seat, I may not be able to get my money off the site to pay for the entry. The Department of Justice froze $33 Million of poker players money at a couple of big banks including Wells Fargo and Alliance Arizona bank. They are trying to claim it is their right under the wire Act of 61 but this is the first time the DOJ has gone after poker players. Usually they have targeted the sports betting sites.

I put in a request for a withdrawal on Full Tilt and they mentioned that it may take 15-20 business days for the money to show in my account. When I tried to make a deposit on Poker Stars I had to use a new payment processor called Click2Pay. Somehow they actually got the money from my Visa card. That hasn't happened since the old Party Poker days.

Last night I planned out my satellite strategy to enter the big tournament on Sunday. I found the $109 satellite is running at 7:45 PM every night this week, so that looked like a good value since they were guaranteeing 5 seats in each one.

Luckily (or perhaps skillfully) I won my seat in my first attempt. Once again, I was amazed at the stupidity of the play on the bubble. Here is the best example:

There are 8 players left for 7 spots. sassybtch2 has 22,445 in chips which is twice the amount of the next closest player. Everyone else is stuck between 11 and 15 BB with the blinds being 250-500 with 50 ante. sassybtch2 has been very active playing nearly 60% of his hands.

I don't think sassy's strategy was optimal when he was a medium stack, but he worked up to the chip leader so now I think being active is ok if you are smart about it. Just raise preflop to steal the blinds or take a stab at the flop. If you encounter resistance then let it go and protect your chips. He is virtually guaranteed a seat if he just sits out, so there is no need to push marginal hands.

Jpeters9 has 8415 in chips in the hijack seat. He open raises to 2,300. sassy calls from the cutoff like he had done a bunch of times in the last 20 minutes. He could have literally any two cards. Everyone else folds.

There is 5,750 in the pot and the flop is Ah 3c Js. Jpeters9 makes a weak bet of 1500 and sassy min raises to 3000. Jpeters9 reraises all in for 6,115. sassybtch2 is priced in to call and he does.

So what two hands do you think these players would have? I am initially thinking that Jpeters should have at a minimum Ace-King or Ace-Queen. The flop was played horrible because the small bet is just begging to be raised. If you have a good hand, especially against the big stack who is obviously looking to make thin calls to try and bust someone, bet all in and get paid.

Instead Jpeters9 rolls over As 7d and sassy btch has Jc Ts. What the hell? The best part was the turn was a Ten and Jpeters was eliminated.

I had picked up Aces under the gun earlier in the final table. I had raised and sassy had called. The flop was 9-T-J with two suits. I check folded. I picked up AQo in early position and raised. An equal sized stack reraised all in quickly. I folded without a second thought. You have to play hands that you have a much better chance of winning than the chances of just folding your way into a seat. My hands were too risky and my patience paid off.

I really wish Full Tilt or Poker Stars would just run "double up" or "triple up" sit and gos where they are run like a satellite. I could make so much money.

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