Well, after 6 hours of playing, I finally came in 2nd of 563 in the $2.20 NL Hold'em [6-Max], 1K Gtd (Tournament #805011062) on Pokerstars for $155.38.
I haven't played MTT's in a while (aside from the odd Weekend Series game), so this was really exciting for me, and I feel like I played a very solid tight aggressive game throughout! After doubling thru a donk after the bubble, I was about 100BB deep and never looked back. I knocked off 5th, 4th, and 3rd myself, but couldn't take it down when my QQ vs. A8 lost on a river suckout of 7%. Sad it didn't hold up (hooray variance), but I'll still take the $155.38, I guess :)
Tournament Hands Posted To Poker.org:
(the best bluff-catcher)http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5578/
(final hand, ugly suckout)
Well, after a fellow member posted a Fun Step Challenge
last weekend, I decided to try it out and see I could do. Before I list my results, though, I just wanted to say a few words about the whole experience.
Playing the FunStep1's reminded me of just how terribly donkey/fishy some players can be! And speaking of MERGE, the beats are doubly bad in these Step1's because people get it in with hands they shouldn't be even playing in the first place. Variance (bad beat city) was high in some spots for me, and I lost some tournaments I should've won because of that. At this level, I played (at most) 4 tournaments simultaneously.
In the Step 2 and 3's, I felt the play was much better all around, especially as the table got smaller. I feel like I bubbled a bunch (3rd place) in the Step2's. In the Step3's, though, I had much better success when making the Top 3. For these "Step" levels, I played a maximum of 2 of these games at a time.
Over the course of the week, I saw many familiar (Poker.org) faces at the tables (doing this challenge like me), and it was nice chatting with them all and seeing them over the course of playing these out. Overall, it was very long, yet satisfying experience, as I was able to have some fun, and build a few dollars in the end! Now for the results:
DAYS 1-5: FUNSTEP1's
DAY 1: 7/10
DAY 2: 5/10
DAY 3: 4/10
DAY 4: 4/10
DAY 5: 4/10
STEP 1 to STEP 2: 48%
DAYS 6: FUNSTEP2's
DAY 6: 8/24
STEP 2 to STEP 3: 33%
STEP 1 to STEP 3: 16%
DAYS 7: FUNSTEP3's
STEP 3 WINS: 4/8
STEP 3 to $: 50%
STEP 1 to $: 8%
TOTAL WON: $4.00
Merge Tournament #69371419
Key Hand #1: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5563/
Key Hand #2: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5564/
Key Hand #3: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5565/
Merge Tournament #69371702
Key Hand #1: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5566/
Key Hand #2: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5567/
Merge Tournament #69372939
Key Hand #1: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5568/
Key Hand #2: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5569/
Key Hand #3: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5570/
Key Hand #4: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5571/
Merge Tournament #69378119
Key Hand #1: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5572/
Key Hand #2: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5573/
Key Hand #3: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5574/
Key Hand #4: http://www.poker.org/hands/texas-holdem-no-limit-5575/
It all comes down to one simple word: perspective.
Carbon has one feature that not one other poker site that I know of has, and that is showing down the percentages of the various allin hands with more cards to come. The red font shows when you're behind. The green font shows when you're ahead. And what always bubbles the emotions of me is when I see the red percentage convert to the green "WIN" on the river; villain's 9% red changing to green on the last card; your 91% green changing to a red 0% by the end.
I'm with everyone else when I think Carbon dishes up bad beats. But the truth is that other poker sites do, too. (You just may not notice it as much if you don't know the percentages, how far your ahead/behind, etc.) And in all honesty, it should happen on all sites, as luck is a big part of the game. (It's not just Carbon that seems to have far too many bad beats, trust me!) When I moved to Canada earlier this year and started playing on Stars, it seemed like every hand I saw that first night was a bad beat. EVERY HAND! Is that going to be the case forever? No. Is it statistically a long shot that the bad beats will keep coming one hand after another? Yes. It's poker, though, and it happens. If you can't deal with it while keeping your calm, maybe this game's not for you.
That's one of the reasons the poker pros suggest you have 20 or 30 buyins at a cash game table for the stakes you play: Variance. That's why they recommend to only invest 5% of your bankroll into SnG's and 2% or less for MTT's: Variance. (In fact, for long tournaments like the Main Event, just think of how many coinflips and 2:1's you have to win TIME after TIME after TIME in order to run super deep (ie. let's be honest - Chris Moneymaker)! There's a lot of luck that's involved there on top of the skill you must have for the game.)
I watched a mini-documentary on YouTube the other day that was called something like "A Kid's Game: The Story Of Online Poker," and in that movie, they had big name young pros who had all lost hundreds of thousands of dollars IN A DAY! A few guys on there had even lost a cool million dollars in that 24 hour time-frame. However, in saying it, they were emotionally detached from how much money it really was, and they seemed to be understanding that days like that happen. Maybe they were tilting; maybe they got bad beat after bad beat; maybe they were playing cooler after cooler. It happens, though, and everyone in the game has to deal with it. There's no poker player who's going to win in poker EVERY SINGLE SESSION they play, simply because of the luck that's involved in the cards, too. That's why it's important to stick within the limits of your bankroll when you play (because otherwise, you're REALLY gambling)! If you let the bad beats equal out (as you'll get some and your opponents'll get some), then the statistics will show if you're winning on the whole once you cut down on that initial variance.
I watched the final table National Championship (I believe it was for 2012) to kick off the WSOP, and to my recollection, all the big hands (with all of the chips going into the middle preflop or on the flop) were ALL bad beat stories! So...it happens online, but it happens live, too! Maybe it seems to happen more online because you're able to play WAY more hands on the computer in the same amount of time (with multi-tabling and a higher number of hands played per hour). But regardless, bad beats are part of the game. That's the thing that you have to live with in poker. You get it allin with the best of it and the 2-outer sucks out. You made the right play though, and if you can continue to do that consistently, then the variance will even out in your statistics and you'll be able to make a decent profit in the long run.
We often don't get emotionally involved when we suck out or when our big hand holds up (unless you're in a big major tournament -- think of the excessive celebrations in the Main Event). The only time we show our emotion (
) is when we get the bad beat when we were miles ahead. And when your emotions get involved, you're probably going to start losing more and more because it'll cause you to tilt, to play less optimally than you otherwise would, and to lose massive chunks more of your bankroll that you wouldn't lose if you kept your composure and continued playing your "A" game.
So when you're playing poker next time, be sure for starters to stick within your bankroll. Maybe you can live with losing 5 consecutive buyins in a cash game, but if you're risking everything you have at one table -- when the money gets in, regardless of your skill level, you're having to rely on luck more than anything to win big.
The toughest thing about poker is when you make a difficult call in a tough spot, it ends up being the right call, and then you go on to lose anyway. Poker is not only a game of skill, though. It's a game of luck, too. That's what attracts so many different players of varying levels to the game. But don't blame a site or the dealer for giving you a bad beat. If you can't deal with bad beats calmly, then you might want to find a different game to enjoy.
I think one of the biggest mistakes beginner poker players can make is that they don't know when to make certain calls or folds due to mathematical statistics and probabilities for the situations they're in. These mathematical calculations allow you to determine which is the +EV (expected value) play to make (ie. if you have to improve your hand more), which would help you earn more money and cut your losses over the long-term. When you look at poker from this kind of "theoretical" or "mathematical" standpoint, it suddenly goes from a game of gambling to a game of reason and mathematical probability. So with that said, here are 20 fundamental-yet-important mathematical statistics that you should know/memorize/play by in order to net you the most money over the long term when grinding it out at the tables. Here they are now:
1) Premium Hands: The chances of getting JJ/QQ/KK/AA/AKs preflop is only 2.1%. A winning player will have to open up their range more in order to be profitable over the long-term and not blind their stack down.
2) Hitting Your Flush: If you have 4 cards to a flush after the flop, you will make that flush 34.97% of the time by the river.
3) Suited Starting Hands: Suited starting hands only have a 2.5% advantage over their unsuited equivalent preflop.
4) Pairing The Flop: The chance of your unpaired hole cards pairing the flop is just 32.43%.
5) Pairing The Board: The chance of your unpaired hole cards pairing the board by the river is approximately 50%.
6) Hitting Your Straight: When you have an open-ended straight on the flop (8 outs), the chances of you hitting your straight by the river is 31.5%.
7) Making A Set: You will flop a set with your pocket pair just 1 time in 8.5 times.
8) Hitting Your Inside Straight: With only 4 outs to improve to a straight after the flop, you'll only hit it about 9% of the time.
9) Pair vs. Pair: The better pair is going to win the hand about 80% of the time.
10) Runner-Runner: Depending on the cards you need, there's about 0.3% - 1.4% to hit running cards (on the turn AND river) to make the hand you want.
11) Coinflips: Preflop, when you have a pair vs. two overcards, the chances of each one winning are about 50% either way. (Pair vs. suited overs can be anywhere from 46% to 54% to win for the pair. Pair vs. offsuit overs can be anywhere from 48% - 57% for the pair.)
12) Kicker Troubles: Having something like AK vs. AQ can be a problem for the AQ, as it'll only win about 24% of the time.
13) Suited Connectors: Versus an overpair, suited connectors are just like an underpair preflop -- they'll only win about 20% of the time.
14) Pocket Pairs: On average, you'll be dealt a pocket pair 1 every 17 hands (6% of the time).
15) Flopping A Flush: With 2 suited hole cards, you'll FLOP a flush only 1 in 125 times (0.8%).
16) Flopping Two-Pair: The chances of flopping two pair is about 1 in 48.5 times (2%).
17) Full House: After flopping two pair, you'll make a full house or better 16.74% of the time by the river (4 outs + quad chances).
18) Full House: After flopping three-of-a-kind, you'll make a full house or better by the river 33.4% of the time.
19) Two Overs vs. Two Unders: The chances of any two undercards beating two overcards is about 35%.
20) Playing JJ: Many players hate playing JJ, and for good reason! The chance of at least one over-card hitting the flop is 52%.
Overall, probably one of the longest sessions of my life (over 6 hours), but I managed to keep good concentration throughout and got more and more relaxed as I went. Just a couple of noticeable hands and stats:
BUYIN: Bought in for $200.
BIG HAND #1: Was playing super-tight and decided to pick a spot to try to represent a set on a dry board vs. two other players. One of the players had a set though, so I quickly lost about $120 (60% of stack). This was maybe after about an hour and a bit of play. In retrospect, I hate the way I played this hand. A cbet would've sufficed (I had top pair on a dry board, ok kicker), and 2 callers IP after. I double barrelled and the player right after only had $17 more and raised allin. Horribly played by me, but that's what I deserved this hand.
BIG HAND #2: Hit quad Q's on the turn to take a nice small win of $40 or so more to my stack. 5 or 6 players to the flop and I have Q8 or something like that (limped pot). FLOP: 2QQ - checked around. TURN: Q - I get $10 bet into me; I just call hoping for an overcall from the 2 or 3 players left to act; everyone else folds. RIVER: 3 - checked into me, I bet $25, get the call and win the hand. He looks disgusted.
BIG HAND #3: Same guy who I bluff-attempted in Hand #1 raises some limpers (including me) from IP. I call OOP with 99. Flop's something like 984, maybe two-tone. I check, he cbets, everyone else folds as it gets back around to me. I put him on an overpair and just call. Turn's a 7. I don't want to let a free card roll off so I decide to ship it with my top set. He calls with JJ (6 outs) and I hit a 7 on the river to double through. Now I'm up about $50 over my starting stack (around $250 total).
BIG HAND #4: I get AA in the BB. Folds around to the SB who asks for a chop. Disgusted, I show, and get a bit of an "Oooohhh" from the table. Haha
BIG HAND #5: I get AA UTG. I limp, one LP call. Button raise to $12. I 3bet to $36. He calls. Flop: KJ5 two-tone. I don't like the flop, but I cbet and get his QQ to fold.
BIG HAND #6: I get 66 in the BB very next hand. Maybe 5-6 limpers and I check. Flop comes J63 two-tone. Super dry flop. I bet out $9, get to callers behind me IP. Turn's a K. I think that checking here might rep me a J, so I decide to check-raise here, hoping to induce a bet. I check. Next player checks. Button bets $16 into about $40. He has $75 left behind. I put the other player on a flush draw or a J and I think by raising here, I'd get her off her draw, and build the pot when I knew I had the best hand currently. I raise to $41. She folds. The bettor calls. River's a blank 7. I bet $50 to put him allin and he folds. With this, in the past two hands, I've gone from about $215 to $315.
BIG HAND #7: I've been playing since about 5:30pm and decide to head out at about midnight. Right now I'm at about $332 (170BB). Early limper. I limp HJ with
. CO calls. Button raises to $7. This is the same guy who I tried bluffing against and had my top set of 9's beat his JJ. Blinds fold, the early limper calls, as do I and the HJ. FLOP:
. I have bottom two. EP checks. I check. CO bets about $12 into the original raiser. Button raises to $30. EP folds. I want to iso-raise with my bottom two pair and get it in as fast as I can. I raise to about $100. I was a bit worried about the bettor on the flop as he only has about $125, and my raise would put him allin if he had me beat. My squeeze works, but when it gets to the dealer, he bumps it to $315 ($17 shy of my entire stack). I analyze it for a good 1.5 minutes minutes. (I took a bit of time with my $100 raise, too). Every hand I think he could have, I beat. I enjoyed my $150 profit for the day before the hand, and would have loved to have guaranteed walked away in the green, but I just couldn't fold here because I couldn't put him on a hand that beat me. He wouldn't have raised pre with any other two-pair combination. It was a small raise pre to have KK for a set. I have 89 as blockers, so I think it's unlikely he has a set of 8's or 9's (holding the two case cards). Even AA/AK/KQ/QQ/JJ, I have beat. I shove thinking I'm guaranteed to be ahead. He calls. Turns an Ace. River's a Q. He turns over
for the rivered higher two pair
I was 70% when I got it in and about 83% with one card to come. I was 70% to leave $450 up, and instead I leave $200 down. I didn't show frustration or anger with my beat, but it's just disappointing when you build it up over 6 hours and lose it all when you got it in with the best of it.
Anyway, just wanted to post this blog for my reference in the future and to entertain you guys with the hands I was fortunate to play. Hope you enjoyed, and best of luck at the tables :)
As I've started to play on Pokerstars after my move to Canada, I've decided to start a Blog Post thread to post some of my memorable hands I've played (using Boom Player). Enjoy watching them (updated often), feel free to comment, and feel free to post some of your own if you'd like to share as well! Cheers :)
HAND #1: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2200592_0315BEAFFC
4 Players to the flop after a 3bet squeeze @ 10NL / 450BB and 580BB stacks in play
HAND #2: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2201177_052D38A53B
A terrible bluff from fish in SB (75BB total / OOP / terrible holding / min 3bet / vs. my KK)
HAND #3: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2212590_4A20C2266F
JJ (me) vs. QQ vs. AA vs. ?? --> Flopping top set (triple up at 5NL)
HAND #4: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2223745_9E95635F01
300BB Pot: Quad 9's vs. the Bluff Catcher --> Ahead the whole time :)
HAND #5: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2225804_7C4EAECF1E
Big pair-and-flush draw on flop with 3 people ending up allin (250BB pot)
Hand #6: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2225853_610AD40BFB
Turning a straight-flush and trying to extract as much as I could...unsuccessfully :(
Hand #7: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2225865_EA9FE40781
What a river card (giving me a flush and villain a set)!
Hand #8: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2298233_6AE983F702
Flopped flush (hero) vs. top pair and flush draw (villain) --> 98% getting my money in :)
Hand #9: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2321068_73E1E87EE3
Slowplaying AA out of position vs. QQ with an aggressive player
Hand #10: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2332122_3BD60FF74D
Some guy getting cute with playing 92s --> two pair vs. nuts :)
Hand #11: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2332174_B0C84AAADB
Good read. Good bluff. Good shove.
Hand #12: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2378498_F213258CDC
Hitting a SICK set-over-set 1-outer on the river!
Hand #13: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2422989_75243DF631
3-handed pot 'til the end (400BB+): Flush vs. Aces (set on river) vs. Flopped Two Pair
HAND #14: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2495147_F84EFD7FF6
So sick! This is how it's been all night for me! Just sick beats! Villain hits the 1 outer
HAND #15: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2679527_565F94480A
5xBB raise pre from CO with 3 callers. If I knew villain had QQ, an overbet would've worked
HAND #16: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2679555_3399AE945C
Sometimes, I wonder why people check-raise rivers instead of check-call.
HAND #17: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2680357_938BC269B2
Bluffing on the flop IP in a BIG 3bet pot with 3 players and knowing I could likely take it down.
HAND #18: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2680471_0E38BBF091
I think I made the right turn call taking IMPLIED ODDS into account
HAND #19: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2703483_DDDD126041
Super-weird villain check-min-raise on the river! Big money pot for me :)
HAND #20: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2765718_3F68539AEB
A cooler from the start! :) 350BB POT! The rivered flush did him in even extra! "SNAP CALL!"
HAND #21: http://www.boomplayer.com/en/poker-hands/Boom/2774005_9D72AA76BF
Set over set over top-pair-top-kicker w/ nut flush draw ---> allin on flop for $125 (250BB)
Well, since mid-October (when I started studying poker seriously and working on refining/improving my skills), I was fortunate enough to build a bankroll from nothing on Carbon Poker and end up at $440 after a rough skid over the past couple days.
With the slide (and with having moved recently from the USA to Canada), I've decided to cash out most of my Carbon funds ($400) as I transition to Pokerstars/FullTilt to give my poker game a try there.
I just felt like I've been tilting/bad-lucking over the past few days and didn't want to risk more chunks of my built bankroll. So I've decided to deposit $30 on Pokerstars and grind it back up from next-to-nothing there.
I still plan to play a bit on Carbon with my $40 left - build up a playable bankroll/play the league games/play the Two-A-Days - as I REALLY do love it there, but it's time to branch out and try real money play on other sites now that I can. Hopefully the bad beats won't be like Merge's ;)
I look forward to grinding back up from nothing and await to see what the different site's play is like. As always, good luck on the felts and I'll see you at the tables :)
It seems like these "Big Ticket" Satellites just get tougher and tougher every week! First it's the Top 100 for $109 tickets. Then Top 50 for $215 ticket, and now they've split it up into two tournaments (one Saturday, one Sunday) so that it's now Top 25. But regardless, I managed to grind it out again today for a solid 4+ hours to win the high roller ticket :) There aren't any PM Main Events for $215, so I think I'll save it for a future Sunday 100K Tournament (if they're still at $215) or a Daily High Roller if all else falls through :) At one point in this tournament, I was 27/29 with about 7BB left, and then on the bubble, I was 2/26. Here were 4 key hands for me in the tournament today:
(tripled up on nut flush draw)
(tough push or fold spot)
(went from 27/29 to 17/29)
(BB KO risking 80% of my stack)
OMG! I did it! :) After a long
5 hours, I finally cashed in and won a tournament ticket from the "100K Satellite on Carbon" :) As you may know, this
week was a bit different, with only the Top 50 placing, and the tournament coupons being worth $215 each. Here's my question:
Should play in the 100K GUARANTEED tomorrow or save the tournament coupon for a DAILY HIGH ROLLER?
As some of you may know, Carbon Poker runs a promotions where if you make certain quad's on the flop (varies by month), you win a certain money prize that correlates to your VIP tier. This month, it was Quad 5's, and yesterday, in a deepstack tourney, that's exactly what happened to me :) After emailing in the screenshot, I got this message while playing today with an added credit of $15 to my account! Not bad for an added bonus :) Have any else of you won this promotion before?