February 16, 2011

Another Volume prop bet!

If you recall, a few months back I made a bet with Vincent (soepgroente) that we'd each play 40k hands in a month. The end results were mixed, in that I lost a bit of money over the 40k hands but finally made Supernova on stars and cleared some nice bonuses. I did learn something useful from the bet though, and that is that I may be utterly incapable of putting in any sort of volume at the tables without additional incentives. So, in order to get back on track, I've booked another volume bet, this time with Jordan (2fouroffsuit). 
It is a similar sort of wager, except with a lower hand goal for me since I don't want to have to play 9+ tables and I have at least 7 days of ultimate and business travel that I won't be able to grind during. So I need to reach 25k hands and he needs to play 45k. To make up the difference in volume, I'm wagering $4500 against his $2500. Of course, the most likely outcome is that we both reach our goals and no money changes hands, but if either of us fails to reach his goal he owes the other that amount. The bet begins today, and runs until March 14th. He shouldn't have any trouble with it, as he just went pro (woo!) but perhaps I can figure out his distraction weaknesses and/or send some secret distraction agents. Suggestions and/or applications for distraction agent positions are welcome! 

Posted By DJ Sensei at 03:09 AM

2 Comments

Tags: 2fouroffsuit volume prop

January 25, 2011

A Strategic Dominion Match Review

First of all, if you don't have any idea what Dominion is (but you enjoy board/card games), stop reading this and go watch our recent video introducing the game

Now, those of you who are still reading are probably interested in some more advanced strategy, so I'll serve some up for you. I played a match recently that I found to be full of particularly interesting strategic plays, so I'll break it down for you here. First, open up the game history (preferably in another window so it is easier to follow along).

First things first: the supply piles, sorted by cost:
3 - Smugglers: Less useful in a game with powerfully escalating decks, because after the middlegame we'll rarely be buying things that cost 6 or less. Still, has potential to pick up some easy Nobles or Golds. Also, weaker without villages because its a terminal action. 
3 - Watchtower: The defensive aspect is useless in this set with no curse-attacks, so it's only useful for drawing to 6 or putting a bought card back on your deck. Probably not worth the purchase
3 - Wishing Well: A weak $3 card that is only useful if our deck is quite homogeneous. 
4 - Moneylender: An excellent early-game card, useful for clearing out our coppers and getting to golds+ faster. Especially nice in this set since we can salvage it after our coppers are gone. 
4 - Salvager: This card will prove quite valuable, allowing us to convert our estates into more powerful cards and also make some strategic mid and late-game plays. Also provides a +buy, which is huge when your deck is capable of monster turns.
4 - Thief: Most useful if our opponent has a neatly-trimmed deck full of big money. Like Smugglers, it is made weaker by the lack of villages (though the King's Court - Thief play can be a great way to really shut down our opponent's buying power). 
4 - Spy: Not a bad card to have, but not particularly powerful either. Doesn't combine particularly well with any of our other actions (except perhaps Thief). We could get ourself a few +actions by playing it on a KC, but ideally we'll have a better action for the KC. 
5 - Vault: An underrated card. Able to increase buying power from the middlegame onwards, it can sometimes net us much more than +$2 when we either draw big money or can chain it with some Nobles. Also, when Salvagers are in play and we have $5 to spend, I might rather buy a Vault than a slightly more useful $4 card since its worth more to us when salvaged later. 
6 - Nobles: An extremely powerful card, and one of the Dominion cards that can create an effective combo chain with multiple copies of itself. The most strategically interesting part about this card is that it costs the same as Gold, so we'll often have to make the decision on which is more important to our deck at the time. 
7 - King's Court: Not much to say about this utter beast. If KCs are in the supply, we will almost certainly need them to win the game. 
9 - Platinum: These too are often essential to win in a Colony game. 
11 - Colony: The goal of the game. First one to get 4 of these usually will take it down. 

The match:

Turns 1-2: I pick up a 3-4 split, and I think its a pretty easy silver-moneylender play. With big powerful expensive cards, we want to clean up our deck and get big $ as fast as we can. Our opponent unsurprisingly makes the same choice. The other reasonable option would be salvager-silver, or maybe even salvager-wishingwell, but it makes sense to choose moneylender first because our copper density is higher than our estate density and we won't need +buys anytime soon. 

Turns 3-4: I pick up the vault when I have $5 to spend, it should be useful until I dispense with my estates and it will provide more consistent buying power (Fun fact: anytime there is a vault in your hand to begin a turn, you can buy a gold or nobles!). The next turn I pick up my Salvager straight up, so my trashing engine now has all its initial components. Our opponent buys a Spy, which I think is a poor choice over Salvager here. Perhaps he simply didn't want to have 2 terminal actions in his deck this early? 

Turns 5-8: Pretty straightforward play here. We are fortunate to put together $7 so soon and pick up an early KC. Some folks might choose a Gold or Nobles here instead because they don't have too many powerful actions to combine with the KC, but that would be a mistake. Even the moneylender can be great with it, as we see in turn 8. We face the choice in turn 8 between KC-Moneylender or KC-Vault. If we choose the Moneylender we'll trash 2 coppers and pick up a Gold or Nobles, if we choose the Vault we can pick up another KC at least by vaulting our ML and the 4 drawn cards. I go with the ML here, since I replaced 2 coppers with a Gold I made my deck much more streamlined, and I'll have plenty of chances to pick up more KCs soon enough. Our opponent Spies us in his turn 5 and forces us to discard a copper; I think this is almost always a mistake. Copper is weaker than my average card, so he should let me keep it. He also spends $5 on a silver, declining to purchase a Salvager or Vault. A crucial error, imo.

Turn 9: An interesting decision on my part with 2 KCs, a Salvager, and 2 coppers. One play would be to KC-KC-Salvager and trash my coppers, but I wouldn't be able to buy anything and that would squander 2 coppers away from my MLs. So, I take a more interesting route and salvage one of my KC's to buy a Platinum. Again, there are plenty of KCs left and getting a Platinum in effect in a streamlined deck is very strong.

Turn 11: Here I end up spending $12 on another Platinum instead of a Colony. Nobody has breached the big VP cards by this point, and I consider my deck to be stronger than my opponents, so I decided that increasing my deck's power even more was better than starting the VP race now. My opponent has been stocking up on KCs and Nobles instead of big money. His deck should have strong cycling power, but it doesn't yet have quite the buying power he'll need to buy Colonies on most turns.

Turn 13: Here we see the power of a KC-Nobles chain in our opponent's turn. He even manages to triple-Moneylender, but without any +buys he's left spending $15 on a single Platinum. 

Turn 14: I open up the Colony race with a KC-Vault.

Turn 15: Here the benefits of the +buy become apparent: Because I'm already a Colony ahead and have several Platinums, I can spend my $12 on 2 Nobles and strengthen up my cycling power. In my opponent's turn, he sets up a nice chain and picks up his first Colony. The race is afoot!

Turn 16: Nobles-Vault is a strong play because the extra +action allows us a chance to see 2 more cards that might be extra useful (for instance, a KC!). If we don't pick up another strong action card on the first pull, we can just play another vault for +$2. We both pick up another Colony on this turn, unsurprisingly. 

Turn 17: At this point, our Moneylender is mostly useless, we have a few superfluous Vaults, and the VP race is hot and heavy, so I go ahead and KC-Salvage the rest of my hand into a Colony. The other option would be to KC-Vault, but that may or may not get us to $11 (and we'll only have one buy if we lucksack >$11). Our opponent makes what I think are a few poor choices here too. He should lead with the Spy to give himself a shot at a KC-KC, which is obviously more powerful than two independent KCs. Also, for the same reason, I'd probably Nobles-Nobles before using the KC since he's guaranteed to be able to at least KC his 3rd Nobles. If he picks up another KC in that stretch he can KC-KC-Nobles and run through his entire deck. He ends up doing so anyhow, but it wasn't a sure thing.

Turn 18: The critical turn. We each have 3 Colonies, and he has more Nobles than I do (The fact that Nobles also are worth 2VP in addition to their other powers makes them even stronger). If I just buy a single Colony here, chances are he'll take the last one next turn and win the game (as we see, he actually had a fairly weak hand, but he certainly could have gotten there with a KC-KC-Spy assuming he picked up a Nobles in his 3 +card's). Clearly, I lead with the Nobles +2 actions, giving me a chance to make something happen with the Vaults. In my first draw I pick up another Nobles, so I opt to continue the cycle and Nobles-Vault again. This leaves me with a Salvager, 2 Platinums, a Gold, and a Colony. One option for a big VP play would be to salvage a platinum and buy 2 Provinces, thus preventing him from winning on his next turn. However, we have a play that locks up a win right now, and of course we should always take it. We salvage our Colony for +$11 and buy the last 2 Colonies, ending the game before he has another shot to pick up VPs. 

As you can see, it was a narrow victory (44-41), but many Dominion games are won by a small margin. It is important to maintain awareness of the VP count and also to keep your mind open to creative plays, for they will often lead to a satisfying victory. 

Posted By DJ Sensei at 09:37 AM

3 Comments

Tags: strategy dominion

January 16, 2011

New coaching rate!

Hey yall, I've decided to take a hint from some market forces (in this case, low demand) and lower my coaching rate a bit. I miss coaching as much as I used to, so hopefully I'll get some new regular students as a result. The rate is back down to $300/hr, with a $1200 for 5 hours package that I think is a great deal for an aspiring PLO player. I'm no longer coaching NLHE; I haven't played it in so long that there are certainly better coaches out there at all levels. I will also coach for mixed/draw games if someone is trying to get into those, but PLO is my strongest game right now. The people I think will get the most out of my coaching are those playing 1/2 - 5/10, but a .50/1 player with deep bankroll could certainly benefit from some sessions, as could a MSNL player looking to learn the game or a high stakes player who wants to brush up on some theory. 

I'm also working on a more substantial interdisciplinary group project that I plan to unveil soon, but I haven't worked out all the details yet. Stay tuned!

Posted By DJ Sensei at 10:26 PM

2 Comments

Tags: coaching

January 07, 2011

Feel the Rushhhh

I might as well spill the beans here, because I think I'd like to get some more feedback before I get to work: I'm working on a Rush PLO series for the upcoming season. As such, I've been grinding a ton of .50/1 rush PLO and trying to crack the code. Its going fairly well, although the variance is silly huge (standard deviation so far = 145.5 bb/100!). Today I had a particularly good session:

User Uploaded Image


A side benefit of all this rush grinding is that I'm actually maintaining (barely) my Black Card status. Today was the second-to-last day in my 50 day grace period to get back over 500, and I had to put in a ton of hands over the last few days, but I managed to get it back to the safe zone. I feel like a huge sucker for actually worrying about black card when I don't even have rakeback on FTP (I know, I know, I've asked them for it several times), but what can you do?

Anyhow, all of yall who have put in some volume playing rush PLO, I'd like to hear from you! Tell me what you think about it, tendencies you've recognized, and strategies you've found effective. For the sake of not clogging up my blog comments section too much, feel free to post in this thread instead. (But if you want to give me an E-highfive, blog comments are the spot!)

Posted By DJ Sensei at 07:49 AM

11 Comments

Tags: rush plo black card

January 05, 2011

Live Poker in Florida: a trip report!

As is customary upon my return to Florida, me and dad took a little trip down to the poker room, which as of last year finally has real no limit games for actual money. Hooray for progress! And more importantly, hooray for fish. As usual, the highest game going was 5/10 with a $1k cap. Not super high stakes, but certainly high enough to be worth the trip. So I got on the list for that and the 2/5, hoping to get into the action as soon as possible. The first seat was at a 2/5 table, but I don't recall anything interesting happening aside from losing a flip with JJ against a shortstack's AK, and I was called up to the "big game" soon enough. 

Now, there were actually two tables of 5/10 going, which was a good sign that the games were alive and well. Unfortunately my table broke up somewhat quickly after the fish won big pots and left. The only mildly interesting hand at that table was against the self-proclaimed mayor of Bayard, FL. As best I can tell, Bayard encompasses a single intersection on the country highway that leads to the poker room (which was formerly a dog racing track, but they don't actually have races there anymore). Anyhow, the mayor limps in, I raise with KQ, and there are two calls. The flop was AQ5, mayor checks, I bet, and they both fold. As he folds, the mayor shows an ace. I am not accustomed to that kind of respect, but I do enjoy it! Anyhow, our table breaks and we draw for the open seat at the other table. I draw poorly, so I head back to 2/5 to wait for a seat to open up.

My first hand of note at the 2/5 table was exactly the kind of hand I want to have in a good live session: An asian guy raised over limpers to $30 and I called on the button with 86hh. The SB squeezed his stack of about $200 into the middle (d'oh!) and the BB followed right after by shipping his $400 stack over the top. The original raiser didn't take much time to reraise again, covering us all. At this point there was already a mild commotion brewing around the table, as is customary in such live games. Now, perhaps I was just in a gambling mood, and perhaps I had been playing too much PLO lately and overestimated my equity multiway, but I saw fit to go ahead and call off my $500 stack with 8 high. The SB flipped his pocket tens, the BB his pocket queens, and of course the asian had the 'pocket rockets'. Only one dead heart, so I was feeling pretty good about my chances. I kept my hand covered, naturally. The flop came AT7. We have a gutshot! The rest of the table was going on about how sick it was that two of them flopped sets, because it somehow mattered in an AIPF pot. All I was thinking was "9". The turn was nothing less than that beautiful 9, so I offered a modest "bink" to the table and flipped my hand. In retrospect, I should have kept it down until after the river, both for maximum awesomeness and so in case they boated up I could muck it quietly without revealing my ludicrous preflop call. Fortunately, the river was a blank and I dragged the massive pile of red chips (side note: I hate red chips. But I can't complain about stacking up a huge pile of them.). The asian guy was understandably steamed, the rest of the fish at the table were confused and amazed, and the one guy who acted like he knew what he was doing just confirmed that I had made the proper call given the price. Actually, I looked it up on my phone and discovered that I only had about 17% equity, so it was a -EV play. Hopefully the enjoyment yall take from reading it was worth the gamble!

Now, I need to preface the next section of this report with the fact that this particular poker room sometimes runs an hourly "high hand jackpot". I think the prize is $100 and it goes to the player who showed down the highest hand during that hour (and used both of his holecards). Both the "showdown" part and the "both holecards" will come into play. In the first hand, I raised JTcc over a limper, and he was the only caller. The flop came down AhQc8c, and he check-called. The turn was the 9c, naturally, and when he checked I eyed his stack of around $400 and bet again, looking to take it all. Unfortunately, he folded, and when I showed my straight flush the rest of the table berated me for not checking down to guarantee myself the "jackpot". If only he had fewer monies behind I might have done so, but the pro in me simply won't let me in good conscience check down a straight flush. 

Soon after, I checked my option with J2o in the straddle. The flop came out JJ9; I led out and got one caller. The turn quadded me up, so I checked and called. The river was an irrelevant 2, I checked again, and he bet perhaps a third of his remaining stack (it wasn't big). I then asked the dealer to confirm that I needed to use both holecards to contend for the jackpot, which he did. So then I placed a stack of big chips out to put the dude all-in, and of course he called. But again I failed to earn the $100 jackpot :(.  

Soon after that I was called back up to 5/10, so I racked up my mountains of red and headed over. The game was excellent, featuring a number of atrocious players with healthy stacks. One of the first hands I witnessed went down roughly as follows: straddle to $20, a handful of limpers, button raises to $200. Everyone calls, whether they have a deep stack or not. 5 or 6 ways to the flop, which is 876r. BB ships $850 (with A5o), UTG+1 calls allin for a few hundred (with 52s), MP tanks forever before actually folding, later claiming something like 97, CO calls AI for a few hundred (with 75s), and the button who covers them all makes a crying call with KK. The board runs out 68 and his kings hold up. He lets everyone know how great he is, and how much he deserved to win. They all rebuy and bemoan their bad luck. 

The first sizeable hand I got involved with, I completed my BB with 96s in a straddled pot 7-ways. Flop came out T96 with a flush draw, I bet $75 and got several calls. The turn somehow bricked an offsuit 5, I bet $225, and got two more calls. Incredibly, the river was an offsuit 2, I checked to let them bluff, they declined, and I dragged a nice pot. 

I misplayed the following hand, at least on the river: I raised AK over limpers, they obviously called. Flop K73 all hearts and only one check-called $125. The turn bricked and he c/c $275, leaving about $720 behind. The river also bricked, and when he checked a third time I tried to squeeze some thin value by representing a barreled NFD bluff. Unfortunately, he checkraised me for less than the minimum, and I reluctantly called getting a great price. He was Asian, after all, and he was the one who got it in with 52s in the stupid multiway hand earlier, so I think he's got some ridiculous bluffs in his range. This time, it was the nuts. 

I got it back and then some in the next big hand: In a pot restraddled to $50 (or perhaps it was just a blind raise) by an awesomely bad gambler guy, I picked up AA in the big blind after a call, so I boosted it to $200. Both the restraddler and the "limper" called. The flop came out an unsatisfying JJ6cc, so I checked to the straddler who bet $250. The limper called, and I overcalled. The turn was an offsuit 8, I checked again, and he unsurprisingly shipped. The limper called off a few hundred more without much thought, and I called off the rest of my stack as well. The limper flipped pocket tens, and the straddler revealed his T9cc and muttered that he couldn't possibly miss. He didn't, but he hit the wrong out, the lovely ace of clubs. My boat dragged the nice pot, and left me comfortably ahead on the trip. 

Thats about it, poker-wise. I think I pocketed about $1400 or so, so that was nice. One funny thing did happen at the table though, there was a young dude across the table from me in sunglasses for a while who eventually asked if I was from around here (I was) and did I play baseball (I did!). I told him where I played, which rang the bell he was looking for, and it became apparent that we had played together on the same little league team over a decade ago. We caught up a bit, and before leaving I tossed him a business card. At that point he connected Dan the little league teammate with DJ Sensei the guy whose PLO videos he watched on DeucesCracked. Funny how these things work out.  

Posted By DJ Sensei at 11:58 AM

9 Comments

Tags: trip report live poker gamble Florida

December 28, 2010

Dad's home game

I'm back home in Jacksonville for christmas, and went with my dad to his weekly home game tonight. I was the only guy there under the age of 60. They play dealer's choice and we didn't play a single poker game that you could find online (at least not in the by-the-book structure). They have some weird betting structures too; checking is rarely allowed, so you have to either bet or fold, and the first person to act rotates each street. Rarely would anyone raise, though the times they did raise it wouldn't necessarily correlate with having the nuts both ways. 

There was one game they played that I think might actually be interesting to play with real poker players, "Pair/NoPair": Each player antes and is dealt 5 cards. Action proceeds to the left of the dealer, and players may either check or open the betting. If nobody chooses to open, everyone antes again and hands are re-dealt. Assuming someone opens, the other players may either call, fold, or raise. Then there is a drawing round, and another betting round begins with the person who opened pre-draw. Once betting completes, everyone shows down, and the pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand (which must be unpaired, hence the name of the game). Obviously, straights and flushes are super strong since they can play both ways, but its hard to make them in a single-draw game. Against the loose-passive old guys, it was fairly simple to evaluate my hand strength and make betting decisions knowing I wouldn't be exploited, but I'm curious how the game would play against solid aggressive opponents. Also, the structure they used was 2-5-5, but I think 2-5-10 would be better. Feel free to try it out at your own homegame and report the results!

Most of the other games involved double boards, wild cards, and/or split pots, so I don't remember much about any specific hand, but I wound up ahead a few bets at the end of the night. I'm not sure who else won anything, since it seemed like they were all grouching about losing. Tomorrow, I'm headed with dad to the dog track for some real live Florida poker, and hopefully I'll return with some real live USD's and a hilarious trip report for the kids at home.

Happy Holidays!

Posted By DJ Sensei at 06:13 AM

6 Comments

Tags: home game silly poker games pair no pair

December 09, 2010

"Writers Block"

I can tell I've gone too long without posting when my dad emails me wondering why.  So, here's a quick update on the assorted goings-on of yours truly:

I finished up the 40k hands challenge, but the last 13k hands were a pretty nasty downswing and I finished it down $, so I wasn't in much of a mood to write about it. There were basically two weeks where I couldn't win anything (not even board games with friends or ultimate frisbee games!). Since basically my entire life revolves around playing games and trying to win, consistently failing to do so is a pretty tough thing to endure. So, I took some time off from playing and just relaxed, and since then I've gotten back into the grind somewhat and basically haven't had a losing day  in a good while. I just hope I can keep up motivation to put in long sessions. Anyone want to make a volume prop for January, or even several months to start the year?

My episode of the Blueprint is coming out this Saturday. (Spoiler!) I haven't finished up recording on it yet, but I feel a larger-than-normal amount of pressure to really do it well. The other episodes so far have really been awesome, and I've never made a video like it before (though I'm sure I've said everything that it'll contain many times before on various videos and forum posts) so I feel like this is kind of a big deal. So thats something for yall to look forward to. I also have a special video that Vincent and I recorded earlier this week that I think will be quite exciting, check it out on Sunday!

Other life elements: 
Duke Basketball is crushing to the specifications I desire. I'm really pleased with the way Kyrie Irving has been playing, especially in the big games, and tonight, the first game he was out due to an injured toe, Andre Dawkins steps in and drains 8 3balls in his first career start. Baller. Unfortunately I don't expect to face much resistance in ACC play after New Years, but  we definitely are going to contend for another championship in March and I can't wait.
I'm still out of shape, but am at least playing one ultimate game a week. Lately our team keeps getting into epic battles and winning in what effectively is "overtime", so we're definitely getting our money's worth. The next actual tournament I'll play is Lei-Out (a beach tournament in Santa Monica) in January. Should be a blast. 
My fantasy football teams have been playing like garbage lately. In my Duke friends league I've plummeted from 9-0 to 9-4 and dropped out of first place, but at least my playoff spot is secure. In the DC league I'm out of contention, dropping to 6-7 and now playing for draft picks.
The Jaguars are actually playing well and are leading the division thanks to the Colts finally failing. I hope we can finish strong and make it into the playoffs so I can use my One Time on them going to the super bowl. (Obv if they make it there I'll go watch, even if its in Texas)
Winter sucks, as it always has, and now I'm stuck in a late sleep schedule because I can't get to bed early and I can't get out of bed early either. Our cats have developed a deadly attack involving curling up close on both sides of me or between my legs, and its impossible to get out of a warm bed with such cuddling going on, so I haven't seen a whole lot of sunlight lately. So it goes.
I'm addicted to Call of Duty: Black Ops. If you play on xbox360, you should holler at me so at least I'm not playing alone. Gamertag = Salmon Slinger.

Happy Holidays to everyone, and may all your outs be live!

Posted By DJ Sensei at 09:37 AM

5 Comments

Tags: videos grinding black ops winter Duke Basketball

November 11, 2010

Volume Prop: Week 3.3 update

Blech. I didn't play at all over the last weekend, so I had to put in some longer sessions this week to get back on track. I'd rather not have to put in an epic last-minute session to get there, and I'd rather not have to figure out how to count up my triple draw hands since I don't have software to track them, so I hope to just finish off the 40k hands just from PLO this week. So the last few days I've put in long sessions and gotten totally crushed. I suppose it is the nature of PLO to have these runs now and again, but I really don't enjoy them. It only adds up to a 12 buyin downswing when measured in bb, but unfortunately the heaviest hits have been at the higher stakes.  I've reviewed the hands from the biggest drop that occurred tonight, and I can spot a few hands that I could have played  better, but really the majority of it just seems to be coolers and setups, with a few bad beats thrown in.

Well, I guess I shouldn't whine too much. Nobody wants to hear that. I'm currently at 33,889 hands with 6 days left to go so I shouldn't have any trouble getting there. My current winnings are slight enough to be considered breakeven (thank goodness for the supernova bonuses). I just hope I can focus on playing great poker and win some money in my next few sessions.

A few items unrelated to the prop, but of sufficient noteworthiness: 
1) FTP has finally opened up draw games. Hooray! I've played a fair bit of tripledraw lately on both sites as there has been good action, but I think I've been running bad at that too. Oh well, keep on truckin.
2) My ultimate winter league just started, so I no longer am completely a couch potato. My team is pretty stacked with talent (we have players from the national championship teams from 3 different divisions) so I think we've got a good shot to win it all. Now if only I could get back in shape and contribute something to the team.
3) I'm currently at 120k VPPs for the year, so my goal of 200k is within reach. I can only hope to have enough motivation to keep putting in hours once the prop is over. Plus I have to work around the holidays, so my available playing time will be more limited. I guess another challenge is a good thing!   

Posted By DJ Sensei at 10:20 AM

3 Comments

Tags: downswing volume prop

October 30, 2010

Volume Prop: Week 1.7 update

After last week's mediocre results, I realized that playing 12+ tables, while great for getting tons of hands in, is not so great for playing well and winning money. The games aren't exactly 2005 PartyPoker quality; I need to actually be on my A game to be winning at a decent clip. So, I decided to cut down on tables, playing between 6 and 9, and aim for quality over quantity. The stakes of the bet aren't actually that high, so I should be focusing on winning money rather than getting to 40k as fast as possible.  

As expected, my results immediately improved once I dropped a few tables. I began to take down many more uncontested pots, made thinner bluffs and valuebets, and was better able to identify whales* and adjust to capitalize on their strategic deficiencies. My winrate rapidly improved accordingly. In fact, I haven't had a losing day this week. 

Also of note this week: I finally surpassed 100k VPPs on Stars to finally become a Supernova. I never gave much consideration to the VIP program at Stars, because I wasn't ever so much of a grinder that I could take full advantage of it. However, as my volume has increased, I've started paying more attention and doing some research. FPP Pro has been a nice resource for determining equivalent rakeback % and such things, as well as finding out the optimal exchange rate for FPPs (Its the 250,000fpp $4000 bonus, fyi). Immediately after reaching Supernova I cashed in a few bonuses for an extra $5k in straight cash. Given the milestone bonus system, I decided that  I'm going to shoot for 100k more VPPs this year so I can cash another $7400+ in bonuses.

So, the current progress update:
21355 hands in 32.77 hours
$4810.35 in winnings 
6 straight flushes, 9 quads (made), 4 quads (dealt), 200 dealt trips with a winrate of 37.19 bb/100 :)

I don't expect to get too more hands in this weekend, what with the halloween and football and such, but since I'm ahead of schedule I could certainly just take a few days off. GL to you all, and everyone who distracts Vincent in the next few weeks gets an e-highfive! 

* - The more PLO I play, the more I am convinced that your winrate almost entirely depends on crushing whales when you get the chance. Most players these days, even the weaker ones, aren't so bad that you'll be able to consistently destroy them. When you get a whale at the table, though, it is often a mad race to be the one who gets all his gold. Thus, it is crucial to open up and play as many pots with him as you can, isolating as necessary. 

Posted By DJ Sensei at 06:30 AM

2 Comments

Tags: prop bet grinding supernova fpp pro

October 25, 2010

Volume Prop: Week 1 update

I got off to a quick start this week, knowing that this challenge would be a lot more manageable and enjoyable if I got ahead of schedule early. I've been playing mostly 2/4-5/10 PLO on Stars, 9-12 tabling. This is more tables than I'm accustomed to, but I feel pretty capable with TableNinja on my side. I put in long sessions Monday through Thursday, and while there was some sense of accomplishment for actually grinding so many hands, I ran pretty bad and was losing for much of the time. I also became re-acquainted with the disconcerting malaise that follows a long, exhausting session of breakeven or losing poker. However, PLO is a high-variance game, so I wasn't too dismayed by some poor results. I'll only get better as I put in more volume (and thus have more hands to analyze in my database!), and I'm playing well below my bankroll, so thats not really a concern. Also, I'll be hitting 100k VPPs this coming week, qualifying me for supernova for the first time ever. Apparently the equivalent "rakeback" isn't half bad for supernova people, so I'll be able to cash in some nice bonuses too. I've even entertained fleeting thoughts of trying to go big next year and try for SNE, but I doubt I'll follow through on that. A million VPPs is just too many (though I could shoot for a few hundred K and still make some nice loot in bonuses).   

From a life standpoint, the pursuit of this prop has nudged me into a slightly more regular schedule, which is a good thing. I've been getting up well before noon (!), taking care of business and lunch by 1PM, and then grinding until 5 or 6.  Four days a week of this and I'll reach the 40k goal easily, but I might even try and shoot past that while I'm motivated to play. Or perhaps I'll just get to 40k and then spend the rest of the month trying to distract Vincent so he doesn't get there!

Anyhow, here's some hard data: 
17.85 hours, 12197 hands, total net -$72.40. 

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The 2/4 cap session was actually super frustrating. I just loaded up one table to check on some HUD tweaks I had made, and got super coolered over and over again for like 20 minutes. The 10/20, on the other hand, was obviously awesome. The game was good and I managed to obtain the Jesus seat on a super fish who donated pretty much all of it to me. So that got me unstuck for the prop and left me more optimistic heading into week 2!

Silly notes: 
Dealt quads 4 times: 8s, 9s, Qs, and Ks. I didn't play any of them, but I'm still holding out for TTTT!
5 straight flushes, including one royal flush and two steel wheels. Interestingly enough, I was the PFR and got it in on the flop in each of these hands, and I was a 70%+ favorite each time.
7 quads.

Tune in next week, when the expected report is massive profits and closing in on 25k hands! 

Posted By DJ Sensei at 08:10 AM

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Tags: prop bet grinding


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