Archive Jan 2010: Bond18

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Aussie Millions Event 1, You Only Donk Twice

I played the first event of the Aussie Millions twice. Much like the Poker News Cup before it, the event was a "repecharge" where players are allowed to play day 1a or 1b and if they bust they can replay it again on day 1c, which was also open to new entrants as well. The end result was an opening event with over 1100 entrants and $1.1 million in the pool at it's $1100 buy in. Hopefully a good sign of field sizes to come.

The second attempt is easily explained. I was a couple orbits late getting into the tournament since I bought in the morning and there was a substantial line awaiting me when I arrived. I folded the first hand with 97o on the BB the first hand I was dealt in, and on the second I looked down at kings:

My stack: ~9,500
Button: ~10,000
I hold KdKc in the SB. Blinds 50/100

Button was an older regular at Crown who is friendly towards me and familiar with the idea that I'm a thinking pro. I didn't remember anything particularly relevant about his play going into the hand.

Preflop: Folds around to the button who raises to 350, I reraise to 1050, BB folds, button calls.

Flop: T 8 3 rainbow
I bet 1600, button calls.

Turn: 2
I bet 3500, button shoves, I call, button shows 88 for a set and I button my jacket.

River: J

I shook hands and wished everyone luck. The hand looks pretty standard, but it made me wonder what I would do with QQ or JJ in that spot. I can't think bet/calling JJ vs someone like him is correct, QQ it's starting to become close. I talked to Jarred about it and he feels JJ is a check/hope for check then value bet river, and QQ is close depending on the read of how wide he'll get it in. Either way, I'm always thrilled to bust immediately in an event without having done anything retarded since I have a whole day to enjoy afterward, as opposed to lasting 9 hours of play and busting 20 minutes before the end such as the day before. I'll never understand those who mope about after busting an event, there's plenty more to be had (although if they're playing above their bankroll I can see where it comes from.) I see it as having the rest of the day off work!

The first day was more interesting. Near immediately I got AK in for 7,500 of my 9,500 chips against AJ at 100/200 blinds and watched a J fall to cripple my stack. After that I won a flip with A8o over a CO raise with 66 and got back a bit above 4000. Then I got a gift:

My stack :~4,000
UTG+1: ~15,000
Blinds 100/200 with 25 ante. I hold 9h3h in the BB.

Preflop: UTG folds, UTG+1 calls for 400, it folds to me in the BB, I check.

Flop: Ac 9s 7h
I check, UTG+1 checks.

Turn: 7c
I bet 325, UTG+1 calls.

River: 9c
I bet 1000, UTG+1 shoves, I snap, UTG+1 tables Qc8c quite quickly and I take down the pot.

After that I faced a limper with 16 BB's in the BB with AJdd, made it 4X and got called (I think shoving is a viable option too.) The flop came J T 4 with a flush draw and when I bet he raised me all in, leading to an instant call. He tabled QJo and when he didn't three out me I suddenly had some breathing room again.

Very little happened for some time after that and when 400/800 75 rolled around I found myself with 8,500 in MP2 and A7o. I shoved it in and the woman with 10,000 in the BB made the call with KsQs. I got out of my chair; KQ never loses.

Flop: Kd Qs 3s

Turn: Ad

"Three ball" I said confidently.

River: 3c

And with the arrival of that card the table broke into laughter except the woman who had caught the horrible runner runner. I shrugged and sat down. Tournament poker is so ridiculous to watch sometimes.

I ran my double up all the way to 26,000 before I played another relevant hand, with PokerNews reporter and globe trotter Gary who took a day off from behind the computer to play with us donks:

My stack: ~26,000
UTG: ~40,000
Blinds 600/1200 with 100 ante. I hold KcKd on the button.

Preflop: Gary raises to 300 UTG, folds around to me, I call, both blinds fold.

Flop: Jd 3d Jh
Gary bets 3600, I decide that with the flush draw out I think a shove represents the widest range since I can have draws, mid pairs, and he probably expects me to flat a jack. I move all in and he calls very quickly with TcTd.

Turn: 6d

River: 9h

A few hands later I raise up A5o in late position to 3000, get shoved on for about 6000 total by QQ, and promptly bink an ace on the river when I make the inevitable call. After that I open the now increased 800/1600 blinds to 3800, get shoved on for 12k by A6o, and have the board run out a continually hilarious K 9 8 4 3; a gigantic dodge for the chop. By the time I stopped winning constant pots and running hot in pre flop confrontations I had my stack up to 110,000. Unfortunately, after that the structure caught up to me.The blinds got up to 1000/2000 and I lost every hand I played to the tune of 30,000 and none of them got past the flop. I tried one light three bet while I was 100k deep with a guy on the button vs his HJ raise and quickly got a gigantic four bet, a poor result to my only three bet pre flop all day if I recall correctly. At the 1200/2400 level I played my first relevant hand:

My stack: ~65,000
BB: ~70,000
Blinds 1200/2400 with 200 ante. I hold Kh9h on the CO.

Preflop: Folds around to me, I raise to 6600 (big bigger than I wanted to raise), folds to BB, BB calls.

Flop: Jc Tc 4h
BB checks, I check.

Turn: Kd
BB checks 9000, I call.

River: 6h
BB checks, I value bet 15,700, BB shoves, I puke and fold.

Not long after that I shipped KQ in MP2 for 36,600 with the HJ sitting out and promptly ran into AK on the CO. I never hit the Q and with 20 minutes left in the day I had busted what was once a huge stack not to mention an entire day of my time. Luckily I was invited to a BBQ that night full of drunk Middle Easterner's where a very friendly drug dealer gave me his weed grinder when I remarked how cool it was, then we all got pissed and had a good time. The two weeks away from the diet are very enjoyable.

Sunday was a very fun day when I ran into Ansky from 2+2 and wound up in a pick up football game with him and the boys from two months two million. I can't even remember the last time I played American football and it was a thrill I've missed sorely. The group is down here doing a number of seminars and playing regularly, and everyone seems really nice and down to earth. A group of his hit Rockpool for dinner, which for all is excellence in quality sure does take forever as a dining experience. Looking forward to more football.

I did very little today except run about town looking to chat up women and getting rained on instead then hit the gym. I wound up chatting up one of the girls playing in the tennis tournament in the hallways of crown from the States. She was really nice and absolutely gorgeous, so hopefully she runs hot in the tournament. Big fail on getting her number though. My boy Luckychewy is coming down very soon and I can't wait to run about town with him again like we did in Vegas. Since there's no relevant event tomorrow and the weather is shit I'll just play online, then play the bounty event on Wednesday. Looking forward to it.

Aussie Millions prelude

It's that time of year again. I look forward to the Aussie Millions more than any other tournament series. It's the perfect length, in the perfect city, during the perfect two weeks of summer. It's especially nice because I don't have to go anywhere to play in a major tournament besides a quick jaunt across the street, and the Australian Open tennis tournament is on just a 15 minute walk away.

Glancing over the schedule I see six or seven events I intend on playing, including the main. I kind of detest live poker these days so I'm not going in expecting much, but I've been working hard at getting up to speed by playing and studying online over the last few weeks, so at least I feel I'm going in sharp. I can't wait to see what hilarious tragedy awaits this year in the 1k rebuys! I've got my friends Mike Watson and Grant Levy staying in the apartment for the series, and I've recently talked Luckychewy into coming down for a visit (his first) so above all I intend this to be an ass load of fun.

I've set the date of the 3rd annual Drunken Kickball Classic on Saturday the 23rd at 3pm, we'll be meeting in front of the aquatic center in Albert park. It's the day of the 100k at the Crown so not too many guys that I know will be playing (except my roommate Jarred, who will likely win it considering what a fucking stud he is.) The plan for the day is to start there with a mix of kickball and dodge ball (must keep a beer in your hand at all times duh) and then walk over to the Belgian Beer Garden a few blocks away where we will continue to get trashed well into the evening. After that we'll probably go out somewhere, I'm not really sure since I'll be so drunk and high at the time I'm not going to presume I could actually plan it now. I'll definitely have people bring cameras so I can do a trip report for that day and I'm very confident it will result in some excellent photo moments.

Let's do this shit!

Response to Lee Watkinson's blog on racial profiling

I recently read Lee Watkinson's latest blog entry. I don't know the guy particularly well, but from what I can tell he seems like a nice guy and I've got no personal beef with him, I simply believe his entry to be very misinformed. Additionally, I rarely give much of a shit about politics (which is what happens when you live in Australia long enough) but in this case I'll make an exception.

Watkinson essentially argues that if you belong to the race or fit the description that most terrorists do, then you should just accept racial profiling. To quote him:

"Look. if you come from suspect areas, have certain backgrounds, even have certain names, ages, male vs female, should all factor into the likely hood of extra attention when boarding a plane.

As far as body scans being an invasion of privacy, get over it if you want to fly. If violates your religion then you are a religious fanatic, that’s the one group I don’t want on a flight with me. Only one person sees the image, its immediately erased, and I doubt they even know who they are looking at."

You can read the whole thing here, it's quite brief:

To refute him I yet again I find myself falling back on the writings of Malcolm Gladwell. In an article he published on February 6th, 2006 Gladwell investigated the effectiveness and efficiency of racial profiling:

"...Figuring out what an Islamic terrorist looks like isn't any easier. Muslims are not like the Amish: they don't come dressed in identifiable costumes. And they don't look like basketball players; they don't come in predictable shapes and sizes. Islam is a relgion that spans the globe."

He goes on to quote New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly:

"We have a policy against racial profiling...I put it in here in March of the first year I was here. If you look at the London bombings, you have three British cizens of Pakistani descent. You have Germaine Lindsay, who is Jamaican. You have the next crew, on July 21, who are East African. You have a Chechen woman in Moscow in early 2004 who blows herself up in the subway station. So whom do you profile? Look at New York City. Forty percent of New Yorkers are born outside the country. Look at the diversity there. Who am I supposed to profile?...You think that terrorists aren't aware of how easy it is to be characterized by ethnicity? Look at the 9/11 hijackers. They came here. They shaved. They went to topless bars. They wanted to blend in. They wanted to look like they were part of the American dream. These are not dumb people. Could a terrorist dress up as a Hasidic Jew and walk into the subway, and not be profiled? Yes. I think profiling is just nuts."

Poker translation: terrorists are smart enough to balance their ranges. We're talking about guys who are able to coordinate acts of enormous complexity and logistical difficulty; they can figure out people are suspicious of the highly Muslim looking. It's a dangerous thing to underestimate your opponent.

On top of everything, encouraging racial profiling results in greater acceptance of being suspicious and judgmental of people based on appearance. I'm not down with that shit, and besides, you never know when the polite gentleman in a suit in tie is actually a sex crazed, pot head, professional gambler.

Let's talk strategy

I've turned into a poker geek again. For a long time my focus just wasn't on the game, but lately I've been playing six days a week again and really getting back into concentrating on improving my game. I'm posting regularly in HSMTT again and watching tournament training videos to get a sense of what other guys are doing. I've had a few interesting hands over the last few days so we'll throw those up here and talk strategy for a bit. I'll be copy pasting hands I posted at 2+2 and including reasoning on my thought process as well as input from other posters:

Hand 1: Full Tilt $500 sat. I haven't been too active and haven't played any meaningful pots against the villain. Nothing about his play or our dynamic would suggest something crazy is going on here. Thoughts:

Full Tilt Poker Aussie Millions Qualifier No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t25/t50 Blinds - 8 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By

UTG+1: t5352 M = 71.36
MP1: t6645 M = 88.60
MP2: t6035 M = 80.47
CO: t3215 M = 42.87
Hero (BTN): t4940 M = 65.87
SB: t6178 M = 82.37
BB: t4880 M = 65.07
UTG: t4155 M = 55.40

Pre Flop: (t75) Hero is BTN with K Q
5 folds, Hero raises to t150, 1 fold, BB calls t100

Flop: (t325) 3 K K (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets t200, BB calls t200

Turn: (t725) 2 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets t500, BB calls t500

River: (t1725) 6 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets t1175, BB raises to t4030 all in, Hero...

Preflop, flop, turn, and the river bet are all clearly very standard. The river check-shove is a difficult spot. The villain is almost never bluffing (occasionally people will show up with something insane here, but it's very, very unlikely) so the big question is how many hands are in his value shoving range that we beat vs hands that beat us.

The majority of the responses in the thread agreed that you need to call, and the most thorough advice came from my ex-coach NoahSD:
"You lose to like 6 weighted combos (3 of 66 and 3 for the other random boats he shows up with occasionally).

There are probably like 10ish Kx that we beat in his preflop range and he prob plays them this way like 25% of the time for 2.5 combos. Then there's like 1 weighted combo that we chop with. Then there's like 1 combos of him just being a total clueless spewtard with like A-high or 77 or 72 or something.

So that's 6 you lose, 3.5 you beat, and 1 you chop with, so equity of a call is (3.5*6870 - 6*2795 + 2037.5)/10.5 = 886.9"

Hand 2: Full Tilt $100 single rebuy add-on. Haven't played any big pots with villain. I haven't been doing any out of line 3 betting that would make me think his range is anything outside of the usual monsters here.

You giving up on turn or calling and evaluating on river?

Full Tilt Poker $33,000 Guarantee (1r+1a) No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t100/t200 Blinds - 8 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By

BTN: t12830 M = 42.77
SB: t20824 M = 69.41
BB: t5495 M = 18.32
UTG: t6415 M = 21.38
UTG+1: t3892 M = 12.97
MP1: t6261 M = 20.87
Hero (MP2): t10681 M = 35.60
CO: t7277 M = 24.26

Pre Flop: (t300) Hero is MP2 with Q Q
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to t575, 1 fold, Hero raises to t1625, 2 folds, SB calls t1525, 1 fold, UTG+1 requests TIME, UTG+1 calls t1050

Flop: (t5075) K 8 T (3 players)
SB bets t800, UTG+1 requests TIME, UTG+1 folds, Hero calls t800

Turn: (t6675) 7 (2 players)
SB bets t1600, Hero...

The flat call from the SB pre is extremely scary. Against anyone who is competent that is pretty much always a massive hand they are getting cute with (if you are the villain in this hand, and we're both aware the other is a reg, then a 4 bet is mandatory with any big hand because it's a more disguised range than flatting.)

His post flop betting indicates either a very strong hand that is trying to draw me in (like oh say, top set?) or a mid strength hand that is now just trying to get to showdown cheaply (JJ.) Almost everyone who weighed in said to either fold turn, or min raise the flop and give up if villain put any more chips in after that. I know that if we get to turn this way I like folding, but I'm not quite sure on the min raise idea, though I know that I don't hate it and I could see it's possible effectiveness, especially given how cheap it is here in relation to the pot.

Hand 3: Full Tilt $100 single rebuy add-on. Just started up for the day. No relevant history with the villain, he hasn't been spazzing all over the place or anything and I've been in line through the early stages.

His line confuses the hell out of me. His value range should basically be 44/JT (or maybe an ultra slowplayed AA.) Although he has a super small value range, his bluff range seems just as small. What gets to river this way that takes a bluff shot?

Full Tilt Poker $33,000 Guarantee (1r+1a) No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t15/t30 Blinds - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By

Hero (MP2): t4000 M = 88.89
CO: t2015 M = 44.78
BTN: t4505 M = 100.11
SB: t3940 M = 87.56
BB: t3446 M = 76.58
UTG: t4659 M = 103.53
UTG+1: t3570 M = 79.33
UTG+2: t2000 M = 44.44
MP1: t3865 M = 85.89

Pre Flop: (t45) Hero is MP2 with T K
2 folds, UTG+2 calls t30, 1 fold, Hero raises to t120, 4 folds, UTG+2 calls t90

Flop: (t285) 3 T 4 (2 players)
UTG+2 checks, Hero bets t200, UTG+2 calls t200

Turn: (t685) 3 (2 players)
UTG+2 checks, Hero bets t440, UTG+2 calls t440

River: (t1565) J (2 players)
UTG+2 bets t1240 all in, Hero requests TIME, Hero...

Conversation on the hand focused around two aspects; whether we should be calling river and whether we should be betting turn. When some regulars such as Mement_Mori and NHFunkii suggested checking back the turn I posted the following to address the subject:

"FWIW boys I think you get more value at HSMTT by going bet/bet/check whereas midstakes it should be bet/check/bet because for some reason at midstakes NOBODY believes that meanwhile in HSMTT guys peel mid pairs for two straight streets more since peoples double barreling range is wider.

Had he checked river, I'd be pretty damn tempted to value bet too, but I might not have the image for that. Thoughts?"

Posters Apestyles, Luckychewy, and Billy Bibbit came to say they agree that we should be betting turn in this spot.

Meanwhile, the river spot had people almost totally split. I think this is one of those spots where having a sense of what kind of player you're up against becomes extremely important. If you're against a fairly straight forward TAG, then this is a pretty easy fold. If you're against a pretty creative or bluff spewy LAG, then it's a pretty easy call. But when you're in a vacuum and have no information on the guy at all it gets really tough. I guess I don't hate folding because tournament players are rarely that creative early in the tournament, but given how small his value range is I would never mind a call.

Hand 4: Full Tilt nightly $150. A continuation in our series of facing full potish bets on the river. I've seen villain around before, I feel like he's a reg but not a super well known one or anything.

Not a ton of draws out, but enough that I'm curious as to whether that changes your guys thought process facing bets like these. My guess is that it won't.

Full Tilt Poker $75,000 Guarantee No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t120/t240 Blinds + t25 - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By

Hero (BTN): t6795 M = 11.62
SB: t2465 M = 4.21
BB: t10355 M = 17.70
UTG: t5125 M = 8.76
UTG+1: t6859 M = 11.72
UTG+2: t7001 M = 11.97
MP1: t6254 M = 10.69
MP2: t3771 M = 6.45
CO: t11698 M = 20.00

Pre Flop: (t585) Hero is BTN with A 5
6 folds, Hero raises to t600, 1 fold, BB calls t360

Flop: (t1545) 4 A 7 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets t920, BB calls t920

Turn: (t3385) Q (2 players)
BB checks, Hero checks

River: (t3385) 9 (2 players)
BB bets t3120, Hero...

First and foremost, when I look at this hand the turn seems like a bet. Many posters brought that up and given the draw heavy texture and the fact that he just might peel two streets with pairs worse than aces makes it a pretty clear bet. Some still said they like checking the turn so they could snap any river bet, but I'm pretty sure betting is likely better since we're very rarely getting checkraised off our hand by a worse one.

Again, thoughts on the river were pretty split, though most people seemed to prefer a call. A few mentioned that the bet sizing is scary enough but GeoffRas22 provided some thoughts on why he prefers calling:
"yea not betting the turn is not good- what exactly is your reasoning for checking? i see a lot of ppl think its "best" to check back and call river or bet river if checked to, but so many more worse hands are calling the turn, ur just getting 2 streets so much more of the time- especially if ur not even sure a call is best on this river (granted his sizing is pretty scary)

as played i call as i dont think randos bet this size with 1 pairs and i cant see him not c/r flop with sets/2 pairs"

Thanks to everyone who shared their insight on these hands.

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