Caliche
or The Trials of a WSOP Wannabe
 

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Ok. Last year around May, we found the Team Canada freerolls, which created the Canadian PokerStars team to be sent to Vegas for the 37th WSOP. While I did try those freerolls, I didn't fare that well, mostly unaccustomed to the turbo blind structure.

Well, this year, Stars is again offering sweet sweet WSOP packages, and I figured I'd give it at least a decent shot. Having some relative problems with my cash game and my roll, I decided for trading my hard earned FPPs to give 3 tries to the WSOP Step 1 Sit'nGo (Donkago... actually, Turbo Donkago :P)... Quick wrapup of the first 2 tries: played uber aggressive, with the moto 'build a momentum and a stack'; shoved with A8s vs a shortstacker with a presto and lost the coin flip, which left me pretty much crippled. Ended up shoving with some bordeline painted hand that I don't remember... Aaaah yes, an offsuit big slick... Which didn't hit squat, busting me in 8th place :S. Second one, same strategy, same hand gets me busto, but it was my first shove so if it would have hit, I might have gotten through. That was in 5th place by the way, which is kinda the bubble (4th place pays a whooping 1,50$, 3rd gets a new buy-in to Step 1 and 1 and 2 move on to Step 2). That kinda pissed me off and got me on tilt AND on an open Vendetta against Donkaments all together :P... But, while talking about it with Nic, I reviewed my strategy and buckled myself in my 3rd try with the survivor mantra : "I got my fist, I got my plan, I got survivalism" [lol! NIN, Survivalism, Year Zero (2007)]. And then this happened:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t200 (4 handed) Poker Stars Converter Tool from http://www.flopturnriver.comFlopTurnRiver.com (Format: Plain Text)

Hero (t1270)
Button (t6600)
SB (t1890)
BB (t3740)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with 8h, 8d.
Hero raises to t1270, Button calls t1270, SB raises to t1890, 1 fold, Button calls t620.

Flop: (t5250) Tc, 6s, 9s (3 players)

Turn: (t5250) 3s (3 players)

River: (t5250) 4s (3 players)

Final Pot: t5250

Results below:
SB has Ad Kh (high card, ace).
Hero has 8h 8d (one pair, eights).
Button has Jh As (flush, ace high).
Outcome: Button wins t5250.


Busted in 4th, just out of the loop. Now, I don't really want to whine and bitch about the fact that I was the favorite, but since it might actually be my last 'WSOP-related' moment of 2008, I will simply paste the equity calculations I got from my Poker Stove :P.

Before the flop:



equity

win

tie

pots won

pots tied


Hand 0:

46.016%

45.89%

00.12%

+600k

1669

8d8h

Hand 1:

20.157%

19.29%

00.87%

+260k

11898

AsJh

Hand 2:

33.827%

32.96%

00.87%

+45k

11898

AdKh



After the flop (that one hurts):


equity

win

tie

pots won

pots tied


Hand 0:

65.227%

65.23%

00.00%

589

0.00

8d8h

Hand 1:

16.888%

16.39%

00.50%

148

4.50

AsJh

Hand 2:

17.885%

17.39%

00.50%

157

4.50

AdKh



And finally, just before the suckout :P:


equity

win

tie

pots won

pots tied


Hand 0:

64.286%

64.29%

00.00%

27

0.00

8d8h

Hand 1:

26.190%

26.19%

00.00%

11

0.00

AsJh

Hand 2:

09.524%

09.52%

00.00%

4

0.00

AdKh



Yeah, there is some luck involved in poker... I must not kid myself...

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Nerf Bush-Wannabe Canadian Prime Minister  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Fscking Stephen Harper... Definitely a George W. Bush wannabe, whose now targeting MY world, my shit and my interests, so I can keep ignoring this wave of conservatism hitting my country and my people:

Harper Targets Online Gaming

I did vote and abso-fscking-lutely NOT for that guy and his 19th-century political views... Anyways, I sure hope this never sees the light of day, and must admit I don't really see it happening considering it's all related to the First Nations and it is a sensitive issue over here. Will keep a close eye on the matter.

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I Am Such An ID10T!  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Just a quick post to relate some anecdote not making me a hero or a genius, faaaaarrr from it :P.

Yesterday evening, I tried to stay away from poker, feeling I needed some sort of break from it all after tearing up the tables (tearing up might not be the best term here though; crashing, as in 'party crasher', would probably make more sense :P). So I went to a friend of mine's place, had a couple of beers and headed home with another buddy who wanted to look to buy a new laptop via my employer's deal. Which we did. Then, silly me, I offered to start a HORSE heads-up freezout, to which my buddy agreed hastily. 2 minutes later, we were sitting down and staring at our 2 hole cards, ready to battle. Everything is pretty even until that one hand. Just finished the Omaha level, I look at my 2 hole cards to find pocket Aces down there. A 4 of spades stares back at us from the first door card. My buddy-turned-enemy is also sitting on a 4, of diamonds no less :P. And then it happened... I go 'Low card opens up; that's you, since spades beat diamonds', and he opens up with the bring-in. I raise. He reraises. I re-reraise and he caps. Next door card for me is a King while he gets another diamond. Same drill; capped betting. Plus some light trash talking and gloating. Fifth street brings a deuce my way and the 5 of clubs to my buddy. I go "ooooh, you don't like that club", to which he answers dreamily "huh?". I say 'nevermind' and bet. He raises, asking "I don't get your club thingy?!?!?". I re-raise telling him to let it go. He flat calls. First betting round that didn't cap, by the way :P... Sixth street pairs my deuce while giving him a lousy, scattered, almost totally rainbow, definitely totally unconnected rag of a hand. Betting goes like 2 predators at each other's throat and his once more capped. i start talking while the seventh and final card is being delt. He looks at it and I say "before you bet, consider: 'do I beat a full house?', cause I've got another deuce in the pocket", to which he answers "What?!?!?! A full house?!?!? Off course I beat a full". I am stupefied, completely bewildered and go "Really? You really beat a boat??? I can't see how with your board...", and then, he delivers the proverbial nail in the coffin, the stake in the chest, saying, between an emerging laughing fit, "We're playing Razz, dude!!!". I melted. Literally.

God I'm dumb.

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Could It'd Been Old Lady Luck?!?!?!?  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Well, I think I've been running good, with Lady Luck holding my hand since last Christmas...



And, and that one's still rubbing me the wrong way, I seem to have ran good in the last few days, while donkeying five buy-ins with the feeling of receiving my fair share of bad beats (set over set, runner-runner straight, top 2 getting flushed...) in the midst of all those bad plays I definitely pulled as well...



Now trying to figure those graphs more thoroughly :P... Reading some interesting posts in PokerEV forums...


Still, both my Expected and All-in Winnings lines are pretty close, so it might not be as bad as I first thought. Especially since, from the first post above:

That is why you can't use the game analysis to measure luck properly. For most styles of play it will usually converge to somewhere around the same point, but it is definitely something you have to take lightly, and not as pure figures.

Which I am now chosing to believe and agree with :-).

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Shouldn't Have Bragged... or The Early March Downswing...  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Well, as good as February was, March starts very sorely... And it's always the same: I plunge, feel depressed and toy with simply quitting altogheter in a last, futile 'up-yours' to the poker gods (who can't give more than a rat's ass about a lousy micro-stakes grinder like yours truly).

Quick, painful graph from February 29th (curse this damn leap year :P):



I definitely have to keep that overconfident demon under leash. I remember my chess game being exactly the same; I'd work hard to patch some leaks and learn some new concepts, trying to reach a deeper understanding, saw my game improve, fell into a comfort zone, played very strong for a short while and then BAM! Overconfidence, cockness and basically self-enamored... Well, the same thing happens periodically in poker. And a couple of days ago, I kinda bragged a bit about my cash game play being pretty solid since that late-2007 downward spiral, while going 'yum-yum' about a certain type of players... Well, the poker gods DO NOT like it when players brag (I know I know, you're going to through Phil Hellmuth Jr. and his 11 bracelets at me as a counter-argument, to which I'll simply answer: "Hellmuth. /shrug". lol), especially wannabe players like yours truly... And then, the spiral starts, getting me to play scared after a couple of bad beats, and then very scared and with the least bit of confidence, doubting every single decisions. Which gets me to play very passively (never good) before I finally grasp what's happening and resort to playing my game... That would normally get me out of the funk, be it that I'd really resort to my game, and not yet another lousy loser variation on my game; mainly playing impatient, trying to steal more than my fair share of pots, hoping I can somehow impress other players by my play and/or bully them out of pots. I keep on avoiding passive/trapping play, get myself to be a very straightforward bull, and when I do get some kind of hand, I get married to it for all the marbles, totally oblivious to a golden rule of mine (in life, not only poker that is): never ever stop reassessing... And then, near the proverbial rock bottom, I wonder 'have I simply gotten lucky?!?!?' Lucky enough to crawl back from the felt?!? Might actually be... Oh well... to be continued...

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February Results and Item Analysis  

Posted by Alex Laforest in ,

Best month eva!!!!!

Well, I made a net profit of a little more than 70$ playing in about 8.5K hands of online NL10 on PokerStars in February. Which is without a doubt my best month ever of online poker. And this has to be feeling very nice since I got down to a measle 5-dollar bankroll (I know I'm repeating myself but hey, I was down to the mat mate :P!).

Still a long way to go before moving up; I estimate I still need between 10,000 to 30,000 hands before reaching the proper bankroll for the next step. Oh well... ;-).

In any case, here are my PokerTracker graphs:






And from Poker EV (very very nice software, btw :P):



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Popping My Casino Cherry Part 2  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Aaaaaahhhhh, casinos!

I loved it! Simply loved it. As soon as you step from the table, to go to the bathroom for instance, all you can hear is poker talk, which you gotta love!!!! People are way more talkative than I first imagined, including yours truly :P. And the 1$/2$ game seems pretty beatable to me, providing you play premium hands and stay patient. I went twice since my last post, for about 4-hour session each time, and raked a net of 186$, avoiding conflicts and picking up my spots. I did go all-in once, but, for that first time I decided I'd need the nuts to shove, which I spiked when a fourth club came on the turn of a battle-of-the-blinds hand where I held the lousy Ac7s...

On a side note; I have been advocating to never limp in an unopened pot forever, and I will continue to advocate such a guideline for newcomers (and will myself keep playing like that until I'm finally out of the micro stakes), but I had some sort of poker epiphany (well, with the knowledgeable help of Misters Miller and Sklanksy (No Limit Holdem: Theory and Practice, which I recommend to any serious Holdem student) lol), and finally got that this guideline is mostly a golden nugget for tourney play... And might even quickly become a -EV play in deep stack cash game (say more than 100 big blinds for anyone at the table; what is called the effective stack), against somewhat savvy players. On the same note, these guys also advocate not to use predefined bet-size for preflop play, simply to avoid patterns and straightforward play... This I will mention again when I'll try implementing new strategies to my game :).

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Archives

And now for something...

... completely different...

For all the media and art buffs out there, here's what I'm tripping on lately, besides poker... Comments and/or suggestions welcomed ;-).

  • Alias (Bendis!) (Graphic Novel)

  • Last Worthy Movie
    Milk (Gus Van Sant)

    And while we're at it, other personal stuff includes (contains French ramblings :P):
  • My Trials With Photography
  • Mise en Abyme (Movie Blog)