Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I won a tourney!

I took down the monthly WPBT event today. It was a pretty solid field. I only really got lucky on the last hand, when I hit a set of Queens on the flop against AA. The rest of the tourney I just tried to play my game and take all the chips I could. I guess tourneys don't have to always be donkfests.

I enjoyed playing with Mattazuma, Schaubs, stevenwe, Patchmaster, StatikKling, Kameelah, bdidde and columbo. (Screenshot linked from Mattazuma's site -- please let me know if you that's uncool.)


I got an interesting comment from Ryan to a post I wrote about Casino Arizona recently:
I need help. I play daily at Casino AZ. I recently left medical school and a 100K per year job so i could move out west to be with my sick father. I am readig/studying/playing poker non stop when i am not with my mom and dad so that i can spend more time with them later as opposed to the rigid schedule of a 9 to 5 job( or Dr.) I'm doing well... but could be doing alot better. I havent been able to find any postings or books on the particularly unique type of poker they play there. 5/150 is a semi spread limit/no limit game. I have a good undertstanding of it but i would really like some help/tips from all of you pros on how I could improve my game at this level. I could go to vagas and play true no limit but that would defeat the fact that i need to be close to my family right now in this very tuff time. I work hard and dont quit, and really feel poker is my calling. SO any tips would be greatly apprecated. Thanks for you help in advance.
The Casino Arizona 5/150 games come in two varieties -- one with a $350 buy-in and another with a $1,000 buy-in. The $350 buy-in game has 3/5 blinds and a $150 maximum per betting
action. The $1,000 buy-in game has 5/10 blinds and the same betting maximum.

The cap doesn't isn't very relevant in the $350 buy-in game because one max bet and another max raise will get players essentially all in unless they've built up a deep stack. I didn't play the $1,000 buy-in game while I was there, but I imagine the cap plays a bigger role, making me think the game would need to be played with more of a pot limit-type strategy. That means players will more often have pot odds to call with their draws and there will be more suckouts. But the cap also minimizes losses when those suckouts occur, so it goes both ways.

The real difficulty in trying to play this game full time will be making significant money off of it. Yes, it plays loose, on par with almost every live game I've ever sat in. That's a good thing, and I believe these games are beatable.

But the problem is the slow rate of play, the rake and the jackpot drop. I'm not sure what the rake is (probably 10 percent of the pot with a $5 max per hand -- please correct me in comments if I'm wrong). The $1 jackpot drop is taken out of the blinds, so even if everyone folds around and the blinds chop, they still lose $1 from a pot that no one even played. That's pretty ridiculous.

So if you anticipate playing 30 hands an hour and winning three of them, you'll probably pay somewhere between $12 and $18 an hour in rake and jackpot drop. If you're beating the $350 buy-in game for 10 bets an hour, that's up to $18 taken out of your $50 winrate, which is significant. The rake wouldn't appear to be as damaging in the $1,000 buy-in game if you're a solid winning player -- $18 or so out of a $100/hour rate. Even these figures are optimistic however; I'm not sure how feasible a 10 bet per hour winrate is. Five bets per hour may be more realistic, which means the rake's cut of your winnings would be much more damaging to your profitability.

Ed Miller wrote about this topic in a recent post.

My primary advice would be to supplement live poker with online poker. Live poker is a tough grind, and you can play so many more hands online, thus improving your hourly earnings. I wouldn't want to try to make a living at live tables at the stakes Casino Arizona spreads.

I'm sure Ryan would appreciate any other advice commenters could contribute.


Here's a fun hand I (mis)played at 2/4 today where I won a nice 400-bet pot with a mere pair of 5s. I put my opponent on an overpair, so I gave myself up to 18 outs -- nine for the flush, two for trips, three for two pair and three for the gutshot.

The problem is that I miscalculated the pot odds. The pot was $604, and I had to call $480 on the turn, which means that even 18 outs weren't enough. I should have folded, given my read.

Fortunately, I'm a lucksack. My flush outs were no good, but my little pair of 5s held up!

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to smizmiatch [4c 5c]
3 folds
smizmiatch raises to $14 from the button
1 fold
JustCuts raises to $46 from the big blind
smizmiatch calls $32
*** FLOP *** [6c 9c 2d]
JustCuts bets $65
smizmiatch calls $65
*** TURN *** [6c 9c 2d] [5s]
JustCuts checks
smizmiatch bets $190
JustCuts raises to $743, and is all in
smizmiatch has 15 seconds left to act
smizmiatch has requested TIME
smizmiatch calls $480.90, and is all in
JustCuts shows [Ac Kc]
smizmiatch shows [4c 5c]
Uncalled bet of $72.10 returned to JustCuts
*** RIVER *** [6c 9c 2d 5s] [Td]
JustCuts shows Ace King high
smizmiatch shows a pair of Fives
smizmiatch wins the pot ($1,562.80) with a pair of Fives

1 comment:

kurokitty said...

Congrats! It's sad, though, how small the WPBT tourneys have become.