Sunday, 27 May 2012

Another Sunday Million Satellite Win

I know this is getting a bit repetitive but last night I won another thirty-six man satellite for $215. I am having a decent year on Pokerstars thanks to these games. Hopefully confidence from this success will spill over into my Rio Challenge. Again I am cashing in my seat but I am seriously giving some thought to playing in the big one in August (the Sunday before Bank Holiday Monday) as part of a multi-table tournament period. I do enjoy them and believe I would be pretty decent (at the lower levels at least). If only I had the time.

PokerStars Tournament #566296308, No Limit Hold'em
Super Satellite
Buy-In: $8.00/$0.80 USD
36 players
Total Prize Pool: $288.00 USD
Target Tournament #574020010 Buy-In: $200.00/15.00 USD
1 tickets to the target tournament

Tournament started 2012/05/26 17:18:21 ET
Tournament finished 2012/05/26 18:34:12 ET
  1: Kartajana (United Kingdom),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  2: 77sharkboy77 (Spain), $20.00
  3: nachoelpunto (Spain), $20.00
  4: kukino3569 (Slovakia), $20.00
  5: Mefestofel (Russia), $13.00
  6: fradof (Spain)
Good Luck

Friday, 25 May 2012

Rio Challenge Update

Halfway through my 250 game Rio sit n go challenge the euphoria of an early consolation win has drifted into a disappointing decline. I am struggling to beat the high rake in this game right now. I could argue that things have not gone my way in key pots, that I have been unlucky in this spot and that and mention numerous outrageous turn of events. What I will do instead is recall the three I hit on the river to help me win the consolation bonus worth $300. I am running good in poker (and more importantly in life). I need to get back to really enjoying these games, focusing on my play and not the short term financial outcome. My results so far breakdown like this:

Kartajana  Click for details 125 -$1.42   $20   -6% -$178   - N/A iPoker 5/1/2012 5/25/2012 SNG Only

Though my split of positions looks reasonable I am suffering from a distinct lack of wins. In 125 games an average number of wins would be 21. Ironically turning three extra non cashing games into wins is all I am short of to stay on the right side of the line. Three wins is $180. Whilst I am still in a profitable position taking account of all factors below I need to bounce back big style to hit my target of $800. One big help could be the freerolls which have contributed a pitiful $2 so far. I will probably play in ten decent freerolls before the end of next month and would hope to hit one or two decent results.

To Date Target
Direct Profit -178 150
Rakeback 96 200
Freeroll Wins 2 150
Consolation 300 300
Total 220 800

Time to fight for those inches.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Rio Challenge Strategy 2: Fight For Those Inches

In the film "Any Given Sunday" Al Pacino, playing the role of a tough, but maybe a little past it football coach, gives one of the best motivational speeches ever in film. If you have not seen it follow the link below.
The reason I mention it is that his approach "fight for those inches" is a mantra that can be very easily adapted to the Rio Jackpot Sit N Gos I am currently playing. To win long term in these games, to beat the high rake and the variance laden structure you have to play your very very best poker. You cannot go on tilt. You cannot make mistakes. You have to play like your life depended on it. You have to fight for those inches. If Al Pacino was a poker coach trying to motivate students playing the Rio Jackpot games his speech might go something like this. Right now I am in this group looking for inspiration in my Rio Challenge. Sometimes a little motivation can go a long way.
"We are in poker hell right now gentlemen, facing the toughest battle of our poker lives. We can either stay here or fight our way back into the light. I mean, I have made every wrong choice a poker player can make. I have called when I know I'm beat, chased draws I should not chase and gone on tilt so many times I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror lately.
  When you get old in life you find out that life is a game of inches. So is poker because in either, life or poker the margin for error is so small. One loose call and you don't quite cash. One moment of indecision and you come second not first. One slow play that backfires and your out in fifth. The inches we need are everywhere around us, in every hand of the game, every minute, every second. Winning jackpot sit n go players fight for that inch. They claw with their finger nails for that inch because they know when they add up all those inches, that's going to make the difference between winning and losing. Between living and dying.
That's poker guys.
That's all it is.

So, what you gonna do"

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Rio Challenge Strategy 1: I'm A Believer

An important aspect of strategy for the Rio Jackpot Sit N Gos is whether you give credit to your opponent for the hand strength they are representing. Here I am thinking about the early and mid game prior to the push-fold late game phase. For the most part I'm a believer. If someone three bets pre-flop more often than not they have a monster. A raise in a multi-way pot, especially a small raise on the flop usually means a very big hand. My default position in these games is to be a believer until proven otherwise. Erratic, tilting play or an unexpected hand shown down are the only things that change this assumption. The main reason for this approach is the lack of manoeuvrability in these games. The structure of blinds and chips makes it difficult to call a big pre-flop three-bet and still get value without a premium hand. Only in the first level or two can you effectively set mine for example. Not giving someone credit for a big hand on the flop or turn can be very expensive by the river unless you are getting reasonable odds for some kind of significant draw. Chips saved are very much just as important as chips lost. Occasionally I will call a river bet, believing it to be a bluff if I can't see the logic in it over the various streets of play. Overall though, be a believer in these games or say goodbye to your chips.
The early sessions of my challenge have proved interesting and overall I feel I have played well, making only a few significant mistakes. Importantly around forty games in I made some important strategic tweaks which have helped. Too often I was cashing in third without giving me much chance of winning. In addition I listed the main mistakes I need to avoid. I also must to remember how tough it is to beat the rake in these games. Over the 250 games I will pay $875 in fees to the network which is a massive amount to overcome. At the same time I am hoping to generate $150 in direct profit. It is clear to me that some of the regulars in these games who are say operating at -10% are pretty reasonable players. My results so far are:
Username Games Played Av. Profit Av. Stake Av. ROI Total Profit Form Ability /100 Network Filter
Kartajana  Click for details 76 $0.03   $20   0% $2   - N/A iPoker 5/1/2012 5/15/2012 SNG Only
To Date Target
Direct Profit 2 150
Rakeback 63 200
Freeroll Wins 0 150
Consolation 300 300
Total 365 800
I have failed to cash in around six freerolls that I have played this month. There is a good opportunity for me on both Saturday and Sunday night at present. In a couple of weeks my reward level based on this Rio activity will increase and I will have a very good Friday night freeroll to play as well which has less than a hundred players competing for a £1000 prize pool.
Time to stop Monkeying around and make some more dollars!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Rio Consolation Win

Twelve days in to my latest mini challenge to play 250 Rio games I have won a consolation bonus of $300 for a sequence of 112212. This is the first one I have won for a couple of years so is particularly satisfying. The way the games fell I was able to approach the final game the way I described in my "Winning The Final Jackpot Game" post with the simpler task of targeting first or second.  I had no distractions, assessed my opponents and played just this one game. I played well and got the luck I needed, particularly on one key late hand.
Key Hand 1
With five players left I three bet an opening limp and was called. The flop was queen high and the chips flew in with my ace kicker helping me double up. This gave me a great platform to build upon to secure a top two spot.  
Key Hand 2
33 v 99
Four handed with a slight chip lead and high blinds I shoved with threes only to be called by nines. A three on the river helped me secure a dominant lead and ultimately a second place finish. I should remember by luck in this spot as otherwise I was the short stack and unlikely to make the top two.
GameID Date (UTC+0100) Type EntryFee Position Profit
 656953481   12-May-12  00:35   NL Holdem    $20 2/6 $12.50
 656924241   11-May-12  22:39   NL Holdem    $20 1/6 $36.50
 656923951   11-May-12  22:31   NL Holdem    $20 2/6 $12.50
 656649151   11-May-12  00:22   NL Holdem    $20 2/6 $12.50
 656649541   11-May-12  00:11   NL Holdem    $20 1/6 $36.50
 656635171   10-May-12  23:28   NL Holdem    $20 1/6 $36.50

In a few days I will update the position on my "Readers Rio Challenge" which is going pretty well after a difficult start. It is good to know I have already completed the toughest part of it. I also intend to do a few posts on overall Rio Jackpot Sit N Go strategy, though this is genuinely work in progress.
Good Luck.