Thursday, 23 February 2012

Which Jackpot Sit N Go To Play? You Decide.

Over the last few weeks I have blogged about the four key Jackpot Sit N Go's - Dirty Dozen, Maui, Rio and Fort Knox. I have reported on my record in these games, talked about strategy and profit potential. I am now handing over to my legion (well handful) of readers the decision in terms of which Jackpot variant I will play in May as part of a mini challenge. Please vote in my survey to help decide.
Factors to consider could be:
  • The game that has provided me a consistent win rate (Maui) 
  • The game with the best consolation bonus potential (Fort Knox)
  • The game which is most fun (?)
  • The easiest game to profit from (Dirty Dozen)
  • The game I have come closest to winning the Jackpot (Rio)
  • Maybe you just don't want me to play the game you play (?)
  • The game which is the toughest challenge (Fort Knox)
Ultimately I should probably focus on the the game I am most comfortable with at that time. One other factor could be to always play the Jackpot game with the biggest rolled over amount. Certainly it would be a little frustrating to win a jackpot of $15000 when it was $45000 a few weeks earlier. Anyway, for that month I will follow your choice.

Poker is all about making good decisions. Please make one for me.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Fort Knox Jackpot Sit N Go

The Fort Knox Jackpot Games are the highest buyin with the biggest potential rewards. The format is the same as the Rios but the six players pay $50 plus $9 rake to win $150, $90 or $60. This is the game I have played the least. I am uncomfortable at this buy in level yet I have a good record albeit with a small volume. During a good spell in 2009 I won two consolation bonuses for $750 each. Combined with the results below, this is gives me by far the best rate per game and yet I do not play them much. Ultimately a bad session can easily cost £200 which is more than I am relaxed about. I have never had a shot at the main Jackpot which starts at £50,000 and often rolls up to some very big numbers. It is currently $125,000.
Kartajana  Click for details229$2.85  $50  5%$653  -N/AiPokerS50-50 SNG Only

One thing I do differently with the Fort Knox games is apply strict game selection, analysing my opponents via Sharkscope prior to signing up for a game. If two poor players are signed up I will jump in. I would also only play a couple at once when playing at this level. I have played a few games this year but my strategy is still a little off, though I am getting there slowly. Below are the opponents I played in a game I won in January.
need80kfast         7,074-$4.28  $63  -6%-$30,305  -70iPokerSNG Only x
pawn147      386-$24.14  $115  -25%-$9,316  Tilt66iPokerSNG Only x
PokerGrafter         20,838$1.08  $54  3%$22,438  -82iPokerSNG Only x
prepare4glory         88-$4.03  $15  -33%-$355  -53iPokerSNG Only x
shnores         118-$2.9  $13  1%-$342  -54iPokerSNG Only
There is a big range of talent in this game but despite one very solid regular and another experienced player there is value from the weaker players. In this game I doubled up early against Pawn147 who was playing way too loose. When I three bet his fourth consecutive opening raise we ended up all in (my AK holding on to beat his AQ). This double up set me up for the win. The key in these games is controlled aggression. You need to be active early to get the chips off the poorer players. The use of position can be crucial here as the structure restricts ones options before too long. All in coin flips however need to be avoided until needed later on. The hardest part is playing to win when instinct often edges you towards cashing. The fear of losing must be avoided at all costs. Cashing here is fine but third only wins you $1. Regular firsts and seconds are needed to be successful.

I have the bankroll to play these games. I have a good record in them. I could win a lot by playing them....................
Time to go for gold?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Rio Jackpot Sit N Go

Prior to taking on my Maui challenge last year my favoured jackpot sit n go was the $20 Rio game. Six players paying a $3.50 rake and looking to cash for $60, $36 or $24. Six win gives you at least $25,000. Six top twos wins $300. I have won the consolation three times. I have also played for the Jackpot three times, always coming third. Two of these games were very creditable efforts and I came very close. The other time I let myself down, played way too tight and never gave myself a chance. I am currently working on a blog post on how to win that final game, an approach that would apply to all the jackpot formats. Watch this space. My record to date in these games is below. When you take into account the rakeback potential, the consolations and the missed jackpot opportunities I should probably play them a lot more. I am currently working on my six man game following a poor re-introduction to them in January.
Kartajana  Click for details1,370$0.63  $20  3%$861  HotN/AiPokerE6-6 S20-20 SNG Only

Part of the problem with the Rios is the structure. Only a 1000 chips and fairly fast moving levels means there is not a lot of play available and you often get four or more players when the blinds are very high. Sure you can still apply strategy at this push/fold stage but luck becomes a bigger part. Back in 2009 I had Poker tuition from Jennifear a top sit n go player. When she considered this jackpot structure and the $3.50 rake she simply said "Never play these games again." I didn't listen and argued my case about some of the very poor players playing these games making them an attractive option. When I get my strategy back on track in these games and have better mental control over the variance they can produce I could really do well. Until then save me a seat.................

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Mini Challenge Update

I have now played half of the one hundred six man $10 games which form my current mini challenge. The aim is to get back on top of my six man strategy so I can play the jackpot versions with more clarity and confidence. The summary of my results shows a fairly satisfactory outcome to date. However the trend data shows a remarkable ten days where I have gone from running hot and playing confidently to running cold and tilting. I need to regain focus for this mini challenge to be a success.
Kartajana  Click for details50$0.64  $10  6%$32  TiltN/AiPoker2/1/2012 2/11/2012 S10-10 Spd=T SNG Only

I am currently experiencing a general poor run. I am guilty of playing when tired, when ill and when frustrated. One lost hand or bad beat has lead to poor decision making, sometimes reckless gambling and focusing on the bad luck that really this kind of play deserves. Just by sitting down and playing poker does not mean I will win. Preparation, focus and discipline are needed. I also cannot ignore the fact that my non poker existence is impacting on my mental state, which is in turn affecting my poker. Previously poker has acted as a positive distraction to my working life. At present issues in my employment are affecting me. I have worked a lot harder over the last few months and my mental energy has been more significantly consumed. It is no coincidence that I have less often played my A game in that period and made less than normal progress. Yesterday I listened to mental game guru Jared Tendlers latest radio show interview with pro Greg Tiller. Their conversation about mental muscle really resonated with me. My mental muscle is in need of rest, recuperation and rebuilding. My acceptance of this could really help me moving forward. Good results are built on a solid foundation.
Now where did I put my spade!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

ICM: Incredible Chip Mayhem

Having played a gazillion poker hands online it is only now and again that something new happens which really surprises you. In this crazy hand I get a good beat late in a six man non jackpot sit n go (part of my current mini-challenge) when all the other players go all in pre-flop. This leaves me to slip into second place spot with very little effort. The incredible bit is that all five players make the correct mathematical pre-flop decision according to the Independent Chip Model.

BetFred Poker "TURBO" Brussels 75/150, hand converted by the iPoker Converter at Talking-Poker

saw flop | saw showdown
UTG fotograf1234 (1295)
UTG+1 torryak (1910)
Button gwyddyon (2065)
SB redickforthree (1950)
BB Kartajana (1780)

Preflop: Kartajana is in the BB with 5 Q
fotograf1234 raises to 1295, torryak moves all-in for 1910, gwyddyon moves all-in for 2065, redickforthree moves all-in for 1875, Kartajana folds.

Flop (7370) 6 9 3

Turn (7370) T

River (7370) 8

fotograf1234 shows 4 4
torryak shows 8 8
gwyddyon shows J J
redickforthree shows A A

torryak wins 7370 with Three of a kind, Eights

A great result for me. Even better for torryak with his rivered set of eights. Two players still have a tiny amount of chips left following this hand but we are soon heads up with torryak taking the $42 first prize and me $18 for second.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Maui Jackpot Sit N Go

 Thanks to my challenge last year I have played more Maui games than any other type of sit n go. See my record below. Each game has ten players at one table paying $5 plus $1 fee aiming to be first($25), second($15) or third($10). Winning five on the trot pays at least $15000. Five top twos pays $200. Playing six games at once which I find around optimum I can make on average $4 per hour. I also feel the possibility of a jackpot win is real, especially following my close call last February. See blog archive. Statistically I should have a shot at it (after four wins) every 3000 games and win a consolation bonus every 800 games. This makes the Maui games an attractive option for me. The hourly rate is pretty good, I get a small shot at a big win and the high rake allows me to earn a decent amount of rakeback and freeroll opportunities.
Kartajana  Click for details4,918$0.64  $5  11%$3,132  TiltN/AiPokerE10-10 S5-5 R1-1 SNG Only
I have played such a lot of these games I believe I have a good strategic approach which has served me well.  If anyone is interested in a fairly detailed approach I have produced a two page strategy document which outlines my approach at the different stages of the Maui game. It is not perfect but it would help any player who might be struggling with elements of their game and be of some interest to anyone who plays the Maui Jackpot games. I have it as a PDF which I will send to the first few players who request it. Either e-mail me at or comment below with your player name and e-mail and I will send it on.
If I ever do win a Maui Jackpot I should really go there. It looks awesome.
Good Luck

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

January Blues

I did not play that well in January and lost $182. A very rare losing month for me. Sure I had some bad luck and would contend that variance overall was against me but I probably got what I deserved. The poor weather was not to blame. The main problem was I never got on top strategically of the six man game, particularly when playing the higher buy in Rio and Fort Knox games. I knew I needed to get more involved with medium hands during the early levels but found this alien to my entrenched tight early Maui tactic. Whilst I have enjoyed the freedom to play a more varied set of sit n gos this has not helped my bottom line. A more structured approach is definately the answer. To counteract my Betfred losses I won $43 in freeroll cashes and received around $70 in rakeback. Meanwhile on Pokerstars I mad a small profit mainly playing the 45 man sit n gos which are my game of choice on that site.

In February I plan to focus on re-learning the six man game away from the variance induced Jackpot games. I will focus on a mini challenge of one hundred six max games at the $10 level to rebuild both my confidence and my 2012 bankroll. With more chips to start with and more levels of play I should be able to make some progress here. At the same time I will play plenty of what I know best. Maui Jackpot games on Betfred and more 45 man sit n gos on Pokerstars.

That should get things going in the right direction. Otherwise anyone for a game of chess!