Archive Oct 2007: Bond18

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Rejected P5's article

So i wrote an article for www.pocketfives.com, which unfortunately wasn't able to be put up on the site. The owner, Adam, seems like a really cool guy and originally accepted it but later said he really liked it but unfortunately couldn't use it since to many people don't have a sense of humor. I 100% agree with him, lighten up you fucking nits. He's encouraged me to write something else for them, though I have no idea what to write that I'd think was good but wouldn't get rejected.

Anyway, if any of you guys have a good idea for what i should write on please let me know in the comments. Until then, here's the rejected article:

"Upcoming Live Poker"

Hey guys, i wrote this article for p5's but unfortunately they weren't able to use it. I don't blame them considering the content, so i thought i'd post it here and see what you guys think. Here's the article:

It’s becoming increasingly common for successful online players to begin venturing out and dominating the live scene. In the last couple years live tournaments have sprung up all over the world. So how does a player choose which to attend with so many expensive events, travel time, and over lapping schedules? I’d like to help players in that quandary by presenting a list of upcoming live tournaments and useful information to go along with them.

Event: North American Poker Championship, $10,300 CAD
When: October 26-November 2 2007.
Where: Fallsview Resort, Niagra Falls,, Canada
What to do while visiting: Try to resist the urge to jump off the giant [censored] waterfall outside after being 2 outed.
How to pick up the locals: Do anything but let them find out you’re an arrogant American. To prove you’re not, sing the entire Canadian national anthem, then point out their capitol on a map, whatever city that is.

Event: EPT Dublin, 8000 Euros.
When: October 30-November 3
Where: Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland
What to do while visiting: Get drunk to a level bordering on alcohol poisoning, start several fights, urinate on yourself, pass out in own vomit. Don’t worry, nobody will judge.
How to pick up the locals: Open with the line “I know its 11am on a Tuesday, but what’s say you and me go get wasted and see what happens?”

Event: Foxwoods World Poker Finals
When: November 7-11
Where: Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut
What to do and see while visiting: Pack a back pack with water, food, and supplies. Then close your eyes and wander aimlessly for 10 minutes through the casino. You’re your eyes, then spend the next several weeks trying to find you’re way out of the behemoth.
How to pick up the locals: LOL at thinking there are available women hanging around Foxwoods under the age of 68. If you must, hop over to nearby NYC and open with the line “Hello, I’m Doctor So and So, wanna see my bank statement?”

Event: EPT Prague, 5000 Euros.
When: December 10-14, 2007
Where: Hilton Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic
What to do while visiting: Prague is a gorgeous city that mixes the modern and historical, with breathtaking sites like Prague Castle, Old Town, and The Astronomical Clock. Just stay the [censored] out of Hostel’s in Eastern Europe.
How to pick up the locals: Open with “Tebe délat má kalhoty nalíznutý.” Czech for “You make my pants tight.” Showing you know some of the language is always a good way to impress.

Event: Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic
When: December 13-18
Where: Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas USA.
What to do while visiting: Take an absolute ton of drugs while blowing off your responsibilities. Then write a rambling, drug induced journal about the American dream that eventually goes on to turn into a movie starring Johnny Depp.
How to pick up the locals: Open with the line “How much for 3 minutes?”

Event: PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, $8,000 USD.
When: January 5-10.
Where: Atlantis Resort and Casino, Paradise Island Bahamas.
What to do while visiting: Lie around on the beach, go swimming, and be lazy. If you’re like most poker players you’re probably out of shape and paler than Carrot Top, so working out and base tanning before you go is a must to prevent the risks of sun burn and people pointing and laughing. Also make sure to smoke a lot of weed since nothings enforced. Seeing as half the people reading this have a bong in their mouth, I'm just telling you what you already know.
How to pick up the locals: Most of the available women running around Nassau are tourists, so do whatever you’d normally do to pick up drunken twenty year olds. Since you’re a poker player, this will most likely result in you going home alone to a hard drive filled with porn.

Event: Aussie Millions, $10,000 AUD
When: January 5-20, 2008.
Where: Crown Casino, Melbourne Australia.
What to do while visiting: Purchase a pair of boxing gloves, then go find the largest kangaroo you can and prove you’re way more man than those wimps in the 1920’s. Also make sure to hang out with Bond18, that guy is awesome.
How to pick up the locals: I’ll tell you what two drunken Australian dudes told me on my very first visit: “Just don’t call your date a Sheila, mate.”

Event: EPT German Open, 8000 Euros.
When: January 29-February 2, 2008
Where: Casino Hohensyburg, Dortmund Germany.
What to do while visiting: Don a pair of lederhosen, grab an enormous mug of beer, and invade France. I suggest going through the Ardennes, they’ll never see it coming.
How to pick up the locals: Open with the line “Ich höre, daß Sie Völker Ihre Weise um eine Wurst kennen.” German for “I hear you people know your way around a sausage.”

Event: World Poker Open
When: January 20-January 23
Where: Tunica, Mississippi, USA.
What to do while visiting: Watch paint dry while contemplating why you didn’t go to the Aussie Millions instead. Come on, the South sucks and you know it.
How to pick up the locals: Open with the line “I reckon we have a lot in common, like, I bet we both totally hate change.”

Event: Borgata Poker Classic, $10,000 USD
When: January 26-30
Where: Borgata Casino and Hotel, Atlantic City, USA
What to do while visiting: At this time of the year, there’s not much to do outside gambling in the AC, so take a shot at the pit games, I bet you can come up with a killer system that’s sure to result in your beating the house.
How to pick up the locals: Open with the line “How much for 4 minutes? Yep, I’ve been practicing.”

There you are; a full schedule of live poker all the way through the month of January 2008. I doubt I’ll be getting out to many of them since it would require getting out of my chair, but I hope to hear about all the online players future successes. Best of luck.

Things it took me a while to learn 3, What're you trying to accomplish?

This post will seem a little repetitive of some of the things Gobbo covered in his ‘Stop saying you’re betting for information!’ thread but I’ll also be hitting on some concepts he didn’t go over.

I used to post a lot of hands where people’s basic response would basically be “What are you trying to do here?” The common mistake I was making in my post flop play, is I wasn’t thinking through my decisions and understanding my motivation for my actions.

Here’s the basic concept: Every time you make an action in a poker hand (outside folding) you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish by taking that action.

For example, one play you see people making all of the time is raising on the flop, then when they get reraised tanking forever because they don’t know what to do. If you’re going to raise a spot like this you need to know whether you’re doing it as
A. a pure bluff
B. a semi bluff
C. a value raise that hopes to get reraised
D. a value raise that will fold to a reraise.

Most of the time, if you’re value raising it should be hopes of getting reraised, but there are spots, especially on the river, where raising for value but folding to a reraise is the most appropriate play.

If you make a bet, then realize you have no idea whether you want villain to call or fold, you’ve fucked up because you’re bet doesn’t have a clear purpose.

You need to have a plan for every action. It’s okay to make a play, then have your opponent react in a way you didn’t anticipate and think over your decision, but because so much of tournament poker is at a short stack a lot of your decisions, especially pre flop, should be pretty straight forward. When you raise in the small blind vs a player in the BB who has 15 BB’s, you shouldn’t have a tough decision when he shoves. You should be able to anticipate that a player at this stack will be shoving somewhat often on you and act accordingly by calling with an appropriate range.

The bet/raise for information is rarely a viable option because bets should fall into the category of bluff or value bet. There are other ways to discern the information given to you in a hand than spewing chips for simply that purpose. I’ll get into that a little more with the next segment about hand reading.

If you want to practice this concept the easy way, play only a couple tables for a few days so that you have time to make your decision. Then, every time you have a decision that isn’t incredibly obvious sit back and ask yourself “What am I trying to accomplish with this hand?” It sounds like a sort of lame suggestion, but I promise it will help to think over what you’re doing.

Things it took me a while to learn: Part 2 - Position

One of the most common mistakes I see on these forums is a lack of understanding in regards to position. You see this at all levels of play in MTT’s, and it was a mistake I very often made until recently. At this point, I’ve gone so far off the other edge that I might be too tight out of position, which can hardly be called a hole considering how important it turns out to be.

I think the reason a lot of players (myself included) fail to realize how essential being in position ends up being is one, that MTT players are mostly very bad post flop and don’t know how to take advantage of position, and two stacks are often so short that calling OOP you can’t be taken advantage on multiple streets.

The more you play good players, the more you realize it’s importance. If you want good proof of this, ask the best post flop player you know to play a deep stacked HU SNG and you will literally feel yourself getting taken advantage of.

Thing’s to know about calling OOP: First of all, under 40 BB’s there are very, very few hands you should be calling raises out of the SB with. When it comes to the SB, almost every hand at this stack size is a 3-bet or fold, though there are a few spots where it’s more appropriate. Examples: If a decent and aggressive player raises on the HJ/CO or button raises and you have a stack in the low 30 BB’s calling a hand like KQs, KJs, QJs, AJo is probably okay, though I still hardly end up doing, especially if the BB is a risk to squeeze you. Or if a good player raises in early/middle position and you have something like AQ in the SB, calling is fine as well. Also, you can of course sometimes flat call AA vs a raise in the SB vs players who won’t be aware that you’re calling range should be so tight.

However, it is clearly the BB where people make the most mistakes, as they're getting a discount on seeing the flop and often closing the action pre flop.

A decent range for calling in the BB vs LP raises is KT/KJ/KQ, QT/QJ, JT, AJ/AT, T9s, maybe a few decent suited A’s.

Vs an EP raise my range is reduced drastically, to stuff like AQ, AJs, KQ, QJs, depending on who’s raising and our stack depth. Sometimes I’d go a little looser than that, sometimes a little tighter.

When it comes to playing in position, I think a lot of people on this forum can go even looser than they realize. At the point the antes kick in, anytime it folds to me on the button, assuming the blinds aren’t in a situation where I have very strong reason to suspect they’ll shove, I’m raising an absolute ton of hands.

To give a rough idea of that range, assuming lets say, 30 BB stacks for myself and the blinds would be: 22+/A2o+/43s+/65o+/any two cards 8 and above. T7s+

If stacks were roughly the same and it’s folded to me on the CO I might likely raise a very similar range, though drop a few of the holdings like off suit connectors, T7s, a few of the unsuited ace rags.

When you raise a very wide range like that people in the blinds will start adjusting, however most bad players will adjust by just trying to call more than 3 bet, since as my GF puts it, “3-betting is scary.” Make sure to pay a lot of attention to which players are capable of adjusting with resteals, which adjust with more flat calls, and which just continue to nit it up. Verse people who won’t 3 bet pre, just keep raising your full range since even if they flat call you OOP you should be able to extract a major edge post flop.

When playing this kind of very aggressive style in late positions you should be C betting a lot of flops, though there are a number of flop textures that hit a villains cold calling range so hard that you should check behind. Consider that most semi sensible villains cold calling range in the BB is hands that contain cards 9-A.

So say you get a flop like QT8 after raising 55 on the CO. On a flop like this, villain will have connected enough that your continuation bet will be called or raised an absolute ton so checking behind often becomes optimal. Flop textures to be more cautious on are things like:
QJx, QTx, 89T, 89J, KJ9, JTx, 9Tx, thing’s of that nature.

Hopefully this helps clear up some ideas of position. I’m not sure how much further to elaborate here, but if people have questions or specific areas they’d like to see further explanation on, as always, just ask.

Things it took me a while to learn: Part 1 - Stack Sizes

When I read over SSMTT I often see a lot of the same mistakes over and over. I also see a lot of mistakes I used to make a lot, and I’d like to do what I can to try and dispense some concise information that will answer a lot of the basic questions. Sometimes there are habits you make or misinformation you’re given and end up creating bad habits, so I’d like to write a series of posts/articles to address some stuff, that may seem fairly basic to some but will hopefully clear up some common misconceptions.

I’d like to start with stack sizes and their relevance.

1. 10 BB’s and under. Basically, any hand you’re playing at this stack size is a shove. This is pretty common knowledge. However, with the increase in stars antes, and the high antes tilt already has, it very often becomes correct to start open shoving in the area of 15 BB’s.

When talking about shoving ranges with antes I’ve recently been turned on to a way of adding up your stacks relative size that I really like, known as ‘true BB’. What it comes down to is that the ‘true BB’ is 2/3rds of the starting pot. So if the blinds are 500/1000 with 100 ante at a 10 handed table then the starting pot is 2500 with a true BB of 1666. So if you’re sitting on the button with a hand like A5s and 15 BB’s, you can simply open shove since you have under 10 true BB’s.

2. 14-21 BB’s. Most (but not all) of the time you have a 14-20 BB stack you shouldn’t be open raising with hands that can’t call a 3-bet. There will, in fact, be spots where because of very weak/tight players behind you that you can raise/fold this stack size, but for the most part, this kind of stack's usefulness is more for restealing all in than open raising. This is in fact an optimal-sized stack to resteal, though many players these days are very aware that this is an optimal resteal all in stack so be mindful of players who are aware of what this stack size indicates.

3. 22-30 BB’s. With this kind of stack you have more room for open raising, but for the most part restealing all in has become a bit to large in most (again, not all) circumstances. Also, when I say restealing I mean shoving hands that don’t really want calls. However, with this stack you should be restricting your open raising range a little bit more than 30+, moreso in early position. With this kind of stack though, I would still be highly aggressive in opening pots in late position as long as the players behind me aren’t huge risks to resteal. In the low 30 BB’s a go and go is very often the best option when thinking of how to play a big unpaired hand pre OOP. Say you have 32 BB’s and a villain in LP makes it 3X. If you have AQ you should be going to like 9-12X and shoving most flops, although if you really hit it hard and think villain will bet you should check shove instead.

4. 30-40 BB’s. The important part about this stack size is that a lot of people try to resteal with it pre-flop. For the most part, especially in out of position spots, 3-betting this stack intending to fold to a 4-bet shove is pretty bad. This can be done in the upper 30’s in a few spots (and I would vastly prefer to do this in position than out with this stack) but for the most part if you 3 bet a stack of 35 BB’s or less you are putting to much of your stack to justify a fold pre-flop unless villain flips up his hand and shows you that you’re 2-outing or something. At this stack size you can open raise a ton, especially if you’re playing at lower stakes where people won’t resteal on you even after the antes kick in.

5. Over 40 BB’s. At this stack you mostly have the full arsenal available to you. You can resteal with the intention of folding, you can raise pre, get 3-bet, and 4-bet hoping to cause a fold, you can flat call in position, and you can open you’re full range.


Thoughts on what your opponents know about stack sizes: Most people have a good idea that when they're 10 BB’s or under they should be open shoving anything they play. When you see someone at 8 or 9 BB’s who’s been open shoving suddenly min-raise or 3X you need to be aware that he’s got a big hand a ton of the time. A really important thing to watch in people is their understanding in stack sizes and what their shoving range is light on a short stack.

When it comes to restealing stack sizes most villains have a concept of this without actually knowing they know. Yea, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let me put it this way; most villains know to shove a bigger range over your button raise with 15 BB’s than 25 BB’s. Even though they're bad, and they don’t understand why they're doing this, they can tell that 25 BB’s feels like too many chips. However, some villains will be totally unaware of these things and try restealing marginal hands for a huge amount of BB’s, especially out of position since playing in a reraised pot OOP is most bad players' absolute nightmare.

Also, a ton of your villains (and way more ranked p5’s than you could imagine) don’t realize how bad it is to open raise with the intention of folding at 13-20 BB’s so once you see a guy do this you realize that you can resteal off them when effective stacks are this size.

Okay, so I think that’s about it for now, I’m going to sleep fairly soon, but if you guys have any questions or want me to elaborate on certain ideas just ask and I’ll go into it all. I’ll probably write part 2 tomorrow.

Bond Pwns Life Nit

I love Indian food. Since getting back to Melbourne I hadn’t found a regular place for my occasional Indian cravings, so I looked up Indian restaurant listings at www.yourrestaurants.com.au. I looked for the highest rated Indian places and found the place I’d seen while walking through downtown to be listed the highest, Gaylord Indian Restaurant. As I looked over the page I saw there was one customer review for the restaurant. It read as follows:
Not worth the effort
Located in the middle of the Melbourne CBD, this establishment seems to turn up its nose if you aren't in a suit. From the 6 requests for a jug of water before one came, and the derisive tone of the waiters, you could be forgiven for thinking they were in the business of trying to get you to leave.

The food itself was quite average, and for the cost is nothing to get excited about. The decor, like the restaurant itself looks good from afar, but on a closer inspection is quite tacky.

I'm sure it's reasonable if you look like you're worth a bundle, but forget it if you want a nice place to relax with friends.

Given that the ratings on the site were excellent however, and it was one of the easiest to get to in the area, I went to try it anyway. It was awesome. The food was great and plenty, the servers were polite and attentive, and the prices were beyond reasonable for a restaurant in downtown Melbourne. I decided I would write my own review in reaction to this clear life nits piece of shit, blasphemous article. Here is how my review, now posted on the site, reads:

Vinnie84 is a lying POS.
This excellent establishment, situated in Melbourne CBD, is totally fucking awesome. Nobody in the entire restaurant was wearing a suit, not even me with my propensity for wearing finely tailored suits that make me look more handsome than Dorian Gray.

I was brought water immediately by using an old restaurant trick called ASKING FOR IT. The waiters were by no means impolite or snobbish, what the previous moronic poster failed to realize is that a good portion of the staff does not have English as their first language and therefore are fairly brief with words in order to prevent confusion.

It seems clear to me that the previous poster was to self absorbed to realize such an obvious circumstance, likely leaning back in his chair and thinking to himself about that one and only time he had sex 27 years ago. I imagine when the waiter asked him if he would like some water in his subtle accent, Vinnie84 instead demanded that he “bring me the god damn hard stuff! I’ve got some forgetting to do.” After downing three fifths his bottle he began attempting to request water but in his drunken stupor was only capable of mumbling “Bringha me… bring me soma that’s clearish stuff!” The poor waiter, assuming he was asking for more vodka despite not having finished the previous bottle instead took the responsible route and refused him further service. After several screaming demands the waiter decided he’d better bring the man some water in hopes of preventing a case of alcohol poisoning in the restaurant.

When the waiter finally brought out Vinnie84’s dinner he was by far to inebriated to be able to taste it, and considering the horrible taste that the recollections of his droll, misspent life left in his mind, it’s no wonder the vileness spread to his taste buds.

As for the claim that the cost was ‘nothing to get excited about’, this is a blatant lie that makes it clear to me that Vinnie84 spends most of his dinners paying 50 cents to make the other bums eating out of the McDonalds trash get lost.

Most amusing in the previous review is the line “..but forget it if you want a nice place to relax with friends.” This portion of the review is clearly the most betraying, since I think we all know Vinnie84’s only friends exist in his head.

In conclusion Gaylord Indian Restaurant serves great Indian food with a staff that is high on efficiency and low on small talk. The prices are totally reasonable for the quantity and quality of food you get, and the food gets to you quickly. Also, Vinnie84 is a huge tool who cries himself to sleep.

All of this can be viewed via this link:
http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au/guide/gaylord_indian_restaurant/?count_view=no
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