Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Here's Why I Like To Make A Deal

I mentioned in my last post that I like to make a deal when I have a dominate chip lead, as it helps to lock up my equity and reduces my variance.

In Sunday night's $55 donkament at the Peppermill, I had the Tower Of Power working with three players left in the 2k/4k/400 level. Up to this point, nobody had said a word about any kind of deal, including a Bubble Save. I was glancing at the payouts, trying to figure out the right deal for me.

Before I had a chance to bring up a deal, the Button went All-In for 15k. (Let's call him Nick.) I was the SB with QJo, and quickly called. The BB folded, and Nick showed 95s. Unfortunately, he hit a 5 on the River to double up. Very next hand, Nick and the other player got their chips in the middle, and Nick eliminated the shorter stack.

Well, that killed my three way deal. I still had a healthy chip lead, but Nick had shrunk the gap. It was something like 90k vs 50k, so we had some room to play. 

There was still no mention of a deal, so we started playing Heads-Up. In the very first hand, Nick was the SB, and raised to 20k. This was a surprise to me, as it's only the 2k/4k level. I haven't seen him play much, as he came to the Final Table with a good stack, and only played a few hands up to this point. I quickly folded.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rants & Raves: The Bubble Save

One night last week at the Peppermill, I played $15/$30 Limit instead of the $45 donkament. (+$177 2.5 hrs, in case you were wondering). The Peppermill is adding $300 to some of their tournaments, so this one had a good crowd of 41 players. But for some bizarre reason, they paid out nine spots for a 41 player field. 

I say this because the Final Table for the donkament was right behind my table, which started out with ten players. As soon as everyone sat down, most of the players wanted to do a Bubble Save, which is giving the 10th place their buy-in back by adjusting the payouts. There was one girl at the table who had a decent stack, and said "No". She said it was bad enough they were paying nine players in a 41 player tournament, and paying one more would be stupid. Others jumped all over here, saying it wasn't fair that one of them wouldn't get any money, and she was being greedy. Eventually, the TD came over, and stopped the Bubble Save talk.

I've mentioned in the past that I don't do Bubble Saves anymore, so I've been in her position before, as old geezers have jumped all over me for being greedy. I would have said, "I vote that we pay five players, as that's what a 41 player tournament should play."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hand Of The Day #92

$10/$20 Omaha-8 ~ Peppermill ~ 02.12.12

I'm UTG+1 with As Qs Qh 2d, and raised ($20). Four players saw a Flop of 8c 5c 3c. Not exactly what I had in mind, as I have the Nut Low but just an Overpair for the High. I bet ($10). A Mid player and the Button called, but the BB folded. The Mid is a 60's lady who's playing 9-Card Bingo. She's playing almost every hand, and the first hand I saw her raise preflop was QQ33. The Button is a dealer in this room, and she is a Super-Nit.

Turn [8c 5c 3c] Jd. Once again, all I have is the Nut Low. Since I'm out of position, and have no real hope of a High hand, I checked. The Mid bet ($20), and the Button raised ($40).

For those who like "How Would You Play It?" type hands, this is good spot to ask, what would you do here?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hand Of The Day #91

Atlantis ~ 01.16.11 ~ 11am $45 Tourney Level 5 (300/600/100).

Full table of 10. There was a bunch of limpers, including me in BB. The Flop was Tc Ts 6d. SB and I checked. UTG bet 1000. He a 70's gentleman I've never seen. It folded around to the Hyjack, who min-raised to 2000. He an 80's gentleman who is a Super-Nit, and he probably has at minimum a Ten with a good kicker. Everyone including me folded back to the UTG, who called.

Turn [Tc Ts 6d] 3c. UTG checked. Hyjack bet 2k again. UTG called again.

River [Tc Ts 6d 3c] 2s. UTG turned over his hand, Ad 5h. The Dealer tried to explain to UTG that it's still his action, and eventually called over the Floor. The Floor said the same thing; UTG has the option to Check or Bet. The Floor also told UTG that he shouldn't show his hand, and that he could get a penalty for it next time.

So, UTG finally checked, with his A5 still turned face up. Hyjack bet 2k, and UTG said, "OK, I'll give it to ya." Hyjack showed Qh Th, and scooped a damn fine pot.

Hands like this are why I'm grinding these Daily Donkaments. The structures and rake are terrible, but the players are much, much worse.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hand Of The Day #90

$4/$8 Omaha-8 ~ Peppermill ~ 02.09.12

I recently sat down after I busted out of the $45 donkament. I've only played one big pot, and I lost with my Set when someone hit the Wheel on the River.

There were a couple of limpers. I was in Mid with Ac Ks 5c 2s. I raised ($8), and a bunch of players called. Five or six players saw a Flop of Qc Js 4c. Pretty good Flop for my hand, as I have the Nut Flush Draw, a Broadway Draw, and some backdoor draws. It checked to me, and I bet ($4). One player called, and the next player went All-In for $6. A couple more players called. Since I have so many great draws, I decided to 3-Bet to $10. Naturally, the other three players called.

Turn [Qc Js 4c] 3d. Another great card for me, as I now have a Wheel wrap. If the River is a 6, 5, 2, or A, then I have a Straight. This also gives me the Nut Low Draw, in addition to all the draws from the Flop. It checked to me, and I bet ($8). All three remaining players called.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Buy A Piece Of The WSOP

If you think this post is about me selling off pieces for my trip to this year's WSOP, then guess again.

On Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment will have a stock IPO of $9 per share. They have been a privately owned company since 2008. They had planned on doing an IPO back in November 2010, but cancelled due to "unfavorable market conditions".

Being the largest gaming company in the world, with 52 properties in the US, Canada, and Europe, you would think that this IPO would be favorable with the stock market people. However, this is being regarded as a joke and a farce, with one site calling it "The Worst IPO of 2012".

There are a few reasons for this. First, Caesars has a ton of debt, even more than MGM which recently opened the money pit known as City Center. Second, they have no properties in Asia, specifically Macau which is the largest gaming market in the world. Finally, Caesars is only releasing 1.4% of their company in this IPO, which will raise $18 million. What's the point of such a tiny offering, especially with the mountain of debt they own?

I have recently gotten into the stock market, and I agree that this IPO doesn't look good on the surface. But the poker player in me has been looking forward to this for a while. As I've already wrote, I think there is a 60% chance of online poker being up and running in Nevada by the end of 2012. When that happens, (or whatever Caesars will use) will be the biggest brand on Web. Once Nevada starts the online poker ball rolling, other states will follow, and Caesars continue to be the dominant site in the US.

I expect the Caesars stock (CZR) to drop, due to lack of interest on Wall Street. I will happily start to buy at $8/share, and treat this a speculation stock. Hopefully I am correct about Nevada online poker, and will reap the rewards both on the felt and in the market.

UPDATE (10pm):

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February News & Notes

- Sunday is the Super Bowl. I know you've been anxiously waiting for my picks, so here is my official opinion... To me, as a life-long Cleveland fan, this is just another New York vs Boston match-up. Who cares?

I have no interest in the game, and will put no money on it. But, out of respect for my loyal readers, I do like the Giants +3 (or the Money Line) and the Under of 55. The Giants already beat the Patriots at Foxborough back in early November. The Giants are also the Hot Team right now, and we saw what that meant for the Green Bay Packers last year.

- If you're into poker podcasts, my boys at the Cleveland Poker Meetup Group have started doing a strategy podcast. They have done three podcasts so far, two on NL Cash Games, and one on Tournaments. The episodes are in the 1.5 hour range, and they do a pretty good job. The two hosts interview another CPMG member about a topic. Since they are Home Game players, there are some references to players and events that an outsider might not get. But overall, I definitely recommend checking them out, as the podcasts just become available on iTunes.