November 27, 2010

Sick SNG prop bet...

Fellow UK Sit'n'Go Grinder Timothy Boyle, who plays on-line under the alias entim, is currently in the middle of a prop-bet to try and make $5,000 profit by playing $6.50 18-man turbo SNGs on PokerStars in only a 15-day period. I wish I'd seen the thread on 2+2 before now, because even laying him 3-1 odds (which are the odds for the prop bet), I think it would have been worth putting some money up. Theoretically, maintaining a 10% ROI would require you play nearly 7700 games in order to make $5000. I'd say it's barely feasible to play 500+ 18-man SNGs a day for 15-days straight, let alone maintain a solid win-rate for the duration as well.

Timothy 'entim' Boyle
Although, having said that, 10 days in he is half-way there (see graph below). He has accumulated $2500 profit over the course of 4000 games. Although it's a pretty tall order to make the same amount of profit in the 5 days he has left as he did in the first 10 (especially factoring in potential burn-out), there is great financial reward to spur him on. With $3333 on the line against the $10k that has been bet against him, from the point he is at now he will be almost $16,000 better off if he wins the bet as opposed to losing it (including game profits). That's a pretty sick swing for $6.50 SNGs!
Current Graph at Day 10 of 15
On Twitter (@entim) he tweeted this earlier today: "I'll be needing premium rungood, I'll be playing almost every hour of every day for a while."

Seeing as I don't have any action against him, here is wishing Tim good luck for the next 5 days. If he runs hot and can grind extra hard, he has a shot at it. It certainly won't be easy though, he's gonna need more than a couple of cans of Red Bull to get there!

Aside from the prop-bet, entim has promised to give the rakeback he accumulates, likely to be somewhere between $1k and $1.5k, to the person who best photoshops a picture of another SNG grinder; simakos. Personally I don't understand this (that's a lot of wonga to throw at a jokey project and SNG grinders are usually so particular about their rakeback!), but some stuff it's thrown up is kind of funny. The leader for the dough so far is the creator of this video:

November 25, 2010

Quick update - considering UKIPT in Galway...

Just a quick update. I've been out of action for the last three days as I've been a bit ill. 'Bit' is the operative word, I don't think what I've had even qualifies as man flu, but I really haven't felt like playing. If I feel better tomorrow I might try and do some sick grinding to get to Supernova by the end of the month. A little part of me wants to go to the UKIPT in Galway which begins on December 2nd which could make for a nice reward. I binked my first live tournament in a side event at the same festival last year, so it holds a little sentiment. Also it was a nice place and I know a few people going who it would be cool to hang out with. Although I'm not sure about going on a dodgy plane with propeller's again!

I've got $6k waiting for me at Supernova ($1k in a milestone bonus, $1k for all the Stellar awards I've yet to cash in, and becoming Supernova will allow me to take advantage of the $4k instant bonus in return for 250,000 of my FPPs, which I've been saving up since last year), so hopefully that will be enough incentive to encourage me to get there asap.

Supernova Quest
Days played/elapsed: 90/183 (49.1%)
VPPs earned (Day 86)1446
VPPs earned (Day 87)1881
VPPs earned (Day 88): 1342
VPPs earned (Day 89): 1865
VPPs earned (Day 90)957
VPPs earned (2010): 84,100
VPPs remaining: 15,900
Total Hands played: 568,302

Only 16k VPPs to go, no excuses now...

Galway UKIPT

November 21, 2010

Eastgate: the flip side & PokerStars.net Big Game drama

I was a little surprised to find that no-one I've asked agreed with my last post criticizing Peter Eastgate for auctioning off his bracelet. I think it is a matter of interpretation. I was interpreting his action as almost a 'middle finger' to the poker world several months after quitting, and saw it as ungrateful doing that to something that had given you so much. Hence the blog post.

However, it's very possible I have misinterpreted his reasons for selling the bracelet. If his motives are purely philanthropic, then selling something for much more than it's monetary value, and giving the money to charity isn't really something that should be criticised. A friend of Peter's, GUKPT winner Jeff Kimber, commented that Peter did not intend it to be disrespectful, and my argument that he could just donate an equal amount to what the bracelet raises is somewhat dwarfed by the fact he has his own charitable organisation. Check it out at www.friendsofeastgate.com

So perhaps I was overly judgemental on Peter, but I stand by the fact I would never sell a bracelet if I were ever to win one. I mean, I was pretty upset that I didn't get a trophy for winning a UKIPT side event (yes, thinly veiled brag, sorry). This might be a symptom of the fact I am a hoarder. It drives my girlfriend crazy, I am so reluctant to throw anything out! I still own clothes I haven't worn for 5 years lol. But I guess nothing can take away the result on your Hendon Mob Database page, and if I'm going to criticise Peter for selling his bracelet, then I should probably rant at Phil Hellmuth for giving his bracelets away as presents to his family, which would be rather harsh.

GL to Peter in whatever he chooses to do. He was always a class act at the poker table.

Which is more than can be said for what I just witnessed in the PokerStars.net Big Game episode I just finished watching. I'm a little behind the times on this, as it caused a bit of a ruckus a few weeks back. Basically Tony G and Daniel Negreanu got totally out of line on Andrew Robl.

I'm not sure what to make of Andrew Robl, he seems a nice enough guy, but from the times I've seen him on TV he doesn't come across as that interesting, and probably doesn't do himself any favours. In this game it was perhaps not the best idea to refuse to straddle even once or twice. But on the other hand, I respect that he stuck to his guns, and he certainly didn't deserve the treatment that he was given:



For Tony G to call the clock on Andew Robl in a hand he wasn't even involved in (bearing in mind this is a cash game with no increase in blinds or whatever) is just such terrible etiquette. Robl ended up making a bad fold, which he might not have made otherwise. Although Tony G is often entertaining, even (or especially) in his berating of people, he sometimes oversteps the mark so incredibly (or perhaps when it's not Phil Hellmuth it's not as funny?). Also, I've always quoted Negreanu as being my favourite poker player ever since I started playing, but his usual likeability was certainly not evident in this episode.

I felt for Robl watching all that go down, and he really sticks up for himself in this blog post he made after it aired. Tony G and Negreanu have since posted on the subject, but meh, Robl came out looking best on this occasion.

November 19, 2010

Peter Eastgate flogs his WSOP bracelet...

The latest thing that has the poker world talking is the news that Peter Eastgate is selling his WSOP Main Event bracelet on eBay. I was a bit sceptical when I first saw the auction page (here), as the seller is "petereastgate (0)". Personally I wouldn't bother trying to sell a friendship bracelet on eBay with a "0" rating. I know that I'm not even looking at the page unless the person has at least a fair few token 'A+++' comments! It does appear that it is legitimate though, and he is donating the proceeds to the charity UNICEF.

It's hard to rag on anyone for raising money for charity. However, to me it seems almost sacrilegious to sell off the bracelet. When you think about how insanely good you have to run to win the WSOP Main Event (see Jonathan Duhamel this year...and that's only in hands that were televised!), it's almost like you're being ungrateful that you won the damn thing! Out of the 6,843 other entrants in the 2008 Main Event field, and the hundreds of thousands of poker players around the world that wish they had such a bracelet, I bet most can't understand his decision.

I would think a very small percentage of people would do the same thing. Admittedly it was reported earlier in the year that TJ Cloutier had pawned off one of his WSOP bracelets, and the pawnbroker subsequently listed it on eBay. However that was more out of financial necessity (busto!) than anything. Okay, in this case it's going to a good cause as opposed to the craps pit, but I don't buy that as enough of a reason to sell the bracelet. If Eastgate wanted to donate money equal to the amount the bracelet is likely to raise then he surely could.

It seems Peter Eastgate has become somewhat disillusioned by poker, as evidenced by his retirement from poker, and therefore from his cushy role as a PokerStars Pro, earlier this year. Perhaps, as you often read about when people win the lottery, he feels his win has had a negative impact on his life, and that's the reason he is selling his bracelet. Maybe he simply wants to 'move on'. Or it could be that Peter feels his bank balance is souvenir enough of his main event win!

Yet, as if selling the bracelet isn't sacrilegious enough (imo), Tony G has vowed to win the auction and turn the bracelet into a dog collar! Perhaps the next "dogs in poker" painting you see will feature one of the dogs rockin' some major WSOP bling?

November 17, 2010

YouTube dump

Thought I would share some cool YouTube videos that I've come across recently. Apologies if I'm a bit behind and you've been sent them via e-mail multiple times and are sick of them already. Don't worry, I haven't included the sneezing Panda! I believe the first one is fairly recent though, and has been doing the rounds on the poker forums. It's an awesome PokerStars ad that you are unlikely to see on your TV sets, for reasons you'll understand if you watch it (definitely not one for the children!).

Epic PokerStars advert



Cute



Parody

Apparently the original got taken down due to a copyright fight by EMI, but this copy hasn't been taken down yet. Only heard it for the first time today, and lololol, especially at the choruses.


Beaker!

Perhaps people who don't like Beaker as much as me won't find this as amusing :)


One for if you have small kids...

I think I like this more than my son, but I've played him too many clips that end up making him cry (he especially didn't like the one where a cat fell in the bath!) so I've been playing it safe recently!

November 14, 2010

Being a Dad vs. Poker & more...

I'm not happy with myself over the last couple of weeks as it feels like I've been really lazy in regards to playing poker. My only real excuse is that I'm finding it more difficult to juggle being a Dad and playing poker as my son gets older. He's 14 months old now and wants my attention much more. I think a large problem is that my 'work' is just upstairs. There is no putting on a suit and driving off to the office or whatever for him to distinguish when he can't play with me. Also I have no strict schedule,
My son, Clark.
so it's really difficult to break myself away from playing with him and start work. Recently I've been trying make sure we have a family meal every night around 5.30-6pm, and in some ways this has been pretty restrictive as well. I just need to find a way to fit in two decent sessions during the day, rather than just one, or even just copping out some days because I don't feel I have enough time to put in a full session.

I really need to take a page out of needbeer's book and get a steady schedule that I stick to every day. I'm going to try and get up nice and early this week so I can fit in those 2 sessions, and put a real dent in the ~23k VPPs I still need to make Supernova.

Supernova Quest
Days played/elapsed: 85/174 (48.8%)
VPPs earned (Day 80)1342
VPPs earned (Day 81)495
VPPs earned (Day 82)1073
VPPs earned (Day 83)1293
VPPs earned (Day 84)1391
VPPs earned (Day 85): 995
VPPs earned (2010): 76,700
VPPs remaining: 29,850
Total Hands played: 541,643

PokerStars Update
I was rather pleased to see PokerStars had a pretty major update this last week. For me, the best new feature is that Tournament Summaries are now automatically saved to your hard drive. Every day I would have to request for my tournament summaries to be e-mailed to me, and then copy and paste them into Notepad before importing them into HEM. Now HEM imports them automatically, so that saves 5+ minutes of hassle per day, which although doesn't seem like a big deal, will definitely add up. 

Also, you can get SNGs to auto-close without stealing focus. The Hjalper software had worked around this problem, but it's nice for it to be solved natively. I'm not sure yet if I'll benefit from the new bet-sizing buttons, as TableNinja does most of this kind of work for you, but I imagine I'll find them slightly beneficial.

The only downside is that I find the new time-bank buttons a bit tilting, but perhaps that's just because I was used to the old ones. Check out the recent changes here.

Daleroxxu
Whilst I'm blabbing on about PokerStars, I also may as well take this time out to congratulate Daleroxxu who announced this week that he is the newest member of Team PokerStars Online. It didn't come as much of a surprise to me,
Nice pic Dale!
as I think anyone who follows his blog will agree that it was well deserved. Well done mate, there's no significance behind the green text, honest ;)


Live Poker
I did play a couple of live tournaments over the last two weeks, and as usual I wondered why I bothered. In the DTD Grand Prix I got my money in as a 95% favourite (which is pretty hard to do!) and lost. I then got kinda slowrolled on my bust hand. I 4-bet QQ for all but 250 of my chips, 1 caller. I shoved for those 250 chips on the Axx board saying I'm not a fan of that ace. He says I should "stop milking it" which presumably means he doesn't like the flop either, so I think I'm good. But after I flip my hand he turns over AK. So that was kinda dirty, but meh, nm.

In the recent DTD £300 deepstack I lost a flip with AK vs 55 that would have made me chip-leader or thereabouts but instead things went against me, and despite making a comeback from 3 big blinds at one point, my perpetual shoving ended up with me running into KK with two undercards. Sigh.

November 02, 2010

Needbeer "In the Well" & short-stacking...

I finally generated some decent traffic to the blog with my post on the VPP record being broken on PokerStars by Kevin 'needbeer' Thurman. On the back of this achievement he has gone "In the Well" and is answering questions in this thread on 2+2.

One thing I failed to mention in my last post was that he is a short-stacker (someone who buys in for 20 big blinds, and tend to leave once they double up), which he has copped a bit of flack for in the thread. Although short-stacking is obviously within the rules, or else you wouldn't be able to do it, it is generally looked down upon by the poker community, which is perhaps why they have been rather unglamorously dubbed "ratholers".

Kevin tackled the 'ethical' side of short-stacking in his Well:

Do you believe there's anything ethically wrong with buying in for 20BBs?
No, it's within the rules of the game, and therefore I don't feel it's unethical. Everyone has an equal opportunity to buy in for whatever amount they would like within the rules. 20BB has been the minimum buyin since PokerStars first launched in 2001.

Do you believe there's anything ethically wrong with leaving a table after doubling-up or winning a large pot?
From an ethical point of view, if a player with 100BB doubles up and leaves, is there any difference between that player and a player with 20BB doing this same thing? And again, it's within the rules of the game. A player has the option to leave at any point in a cash game for any reason. It's not a tournament. If someone objects to a player leaving after doubling up, I suggest other forms of poker than standard NL cash game formats... i.e. SNG's, MTT's, or even limit cash games for the most part..

Personally, I'm not a fan of short-stacking in general, but then again I am not a fan of other players playing well in general. I'm not a fan of great players, good players, decent players, break-even regs or maybe even slightly losing players. Whatever format of poker I'm playing with however many big blinds involved, I want to be playing against huge fish all day every day, who can't tell a full-house from an empty caravan. Unfortunately, this isn't a realistic possibility for your average online table.

Whether or not you are against short-stacking though, I don't see any way of avoiding respect for a guy that has managed to make $400k in 10 months grinding his absolute tits off.

On another note, looking at the blog's statistics, a large amount of the out-clicks made on my blog in the last 4 days were to click on the thumbnail of Kevin's girlfriend. You big pervs! Rather sportingly Kevin posted these pics up in his Well, but I think the not-so-hidden message here could be "hands off"!