April 30, 2012

Sickest Sunday ever?! (stpauli111 wins 4 tournaments)

Scott Hall, better known as 'stpauli111', played 32 MTTs on PokerStars yesterday. He won four of them:

  • The $215 Sunday Supersonic for $42k
  • The Bigger $162 for $41k
  • A $55 Rebuy for $24k
  • A $200 Rebuy for $23k

Scott Hall
Hall is an American poker player from Arizona, currently residing in Spain. He has over $2.5 million in online winnings to his name, although I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb by saying this is the first time he (or possibly anyone else for that matter) has binked four huge tournaments in one day!

Must be nice!
Congrats to Mr. Hall.

Edit: I have just discovered (thanks Amatay) that he also won the $100 Rebuy on PokerStars on Saturday for $16k. #runbetter 

April 29, 2012

The positive side of variance!

Variance is a funny thing. I went through 4 or 5 months of what seemed like continuous pain with no sign of reprieve. But apparently I've paid my dues, and I'm running really well recently. Overall I'm probably running to expectation, it just took 6 or 7 months to even itself out.

That is why getting frustrated with the short term in poker is so futile. Don't get me wrong, I get annoyed with the short term plenty (as you'll know if you read this blog regularly!), it's just generally a waste of energy.

The graph below shows the extremity of what I'm talking about. Okay, this graph includes all the turbo MTTs I have played (as well as SNGs) which are naturally high variance, and doesn't show rakeback, but still...

epitomised, All Games, PokerStars, Last 6 Months
It's very possible that I'm playing a whole lot better now than I was during the bad patch, as I really think success breeds confidence in poker. Obviously thought I'm not playing that much better, I'm just running hot as well.

PokerStars taking over FTP speculation
I'm eager to find out the reality of the possible PokerStars takeover of Full Tilt. I think if it were to happen it would probably be a good thing in general. It obviously would be for anybody with money on Full Tilt. The only downside I can think of is it diluting the player pool, but Full Tilt and PokerStars managed to run alongside each other perfectly well for a long time so I can't see that being a huge problem.

The thing is that PokerStars is almost perfect, certainly in terms of software. So it seems almost silly to have a slightly inferior (imo) software running alongside. They will probably end up improving everything though, so then potentially you just have two virtually identical poker sites, which seems a little silly. I'm also interested in how the VIP system might work. If PokerStars owns both sites, will they merge the VIP system somehow? At least if I'm not able to make it as a PokerStars Team Online Pro, maybe the chance is there to become an FTP Red (Spade?) Pro?! Although if PokerStars have any sense (which they obv do), I don't think we'll be seeing quite so many sponsored players on there!

It will certainly be interesting to see see how things play out...

April 27, 2012

2+2 Hacked - Advice...

I realise this is my second blog post that isn't really a blog post, and probably isn't giving you any new information. If you aren't aware, the 2+2 poker forums were hacked yesterday, and all e-mail addresses and passwords have been compromised.

Still, I thought it was worth referring you to this very useful article by NoahSD on what to do if you have a 2+2 account:

"2p2 Hacked–Do This Stuff Immediately" by NoahSD

April 24, 2012

PokerStars to purchase Full Tilt Poker?!

A thread was posted earlier today (at 11.45am) on 2+2 was posted which states:

"PokerStars has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to buy FTP. The things I heard:

* All players will be refunded 100%
* Both sites back online
* Both sites have promotions
* Employees remain in both places

Expect more news today."

It has come to light that there might be some truth to this post, and much speculation has occured since. Click here to see the thread: Big News: PokerStars Purchases FTP(?)

Edit: Development #1 (3.45pm)
A tweet from the ChiliPoker CEO seems to give further weight to the rumour:

Edit: Development #2 (4.45pm)
It has become clear that the potential Group Bernard Tapie buy-out of Full Tilt Poker has fallen through, after they released this statement.

Edit: Development #3 (5.30pm)
Poker News site PokerFuse is reporting it as a done deal, saying that "sources have corroborated the story with Pokerfuse that a deal has indeed been reached but could not confirm any specific details".

Edit: Development #4 (8.00pm)
Shaun Deeb has posted on 2+2:
"The deal is already done by what I am told;

Players will be paid within 90 days 
FTP will be open in the US market"

Edit: Development #5 (9.00pm)
PokerStars release a statement saying that they are unable to comment.

See this thread on PokerStrategy for more info on this story.

April 19, 2012

Team Online?

Not a whole lot has occurred since my last update. I did play a couple of live donkaments, including the £1 million guaranteed UKIPT event at Dusk Till Dawn. It was great to see the club so insanely busy with tables everywhere, and it was nice to have a shot at winning £200k. Unfortunately I bust 20 minutes before the end of Day 1A, but it was one of those bust-outs where you can be happy because I felt I played really well, including folding KK correctly on a J963 rainbow board. I managed to avoid the call-because-you-can't-really-fold-even-though-you-know-you're-beat call that I've been known to succumb to before. I also had a really fun (although not soft enough for my liking) opening table and got into some fun battles, and enjoyed chatting to 'Pinchop' who was on my right.

I've also sent in my application for PokerStars Team Online, although I'm not holding my breath as I expect they would have approached me before now if I had a real shot at it. Plus I'm sure they've had thousands of applications for only a few spots. On the other hand I think I absolutely slam dunk all the criteria, except for perhaps the number of hours I have played being down this year. This is somewhat down to having a newborn though, and I'd be more than capable of grinding out the hours required of me if I were to make it on-board. Here's hoping I at least stand a chance or get some kind of sweat, even if only a couple of outs with one card to come. If any of you feel like visiting my blog for no real reason to boost myt hit count, every little helps ;-P

Speaking of online pokerz, I've finally got my Sharkscope graph looking somewhat pretty again. I realise it's a bit of a brag, but after a 12,000 game break-even spell, I think that's okay!

I will just be trying to play a decent amount online over the next couple of weeks, and will probably give the £500, £200k Guaranteed tourney at DTD a shot over May Bank Holiday weekend.

I have to post this cute picture of my 2 and half year old son Clark giving his 10 week old baby sister Alaina a kiss. Aside from trying to bosh her with a wooden ornament giraffe when she was a couple of weeks old (probably our fault for having a wooden ornament giraffe in all fairness), he really has taken to being a big brother better than we could have hoped :)

April 03, 2012

First Quarter Review...

January 1st - March 31st

Things have finally started to turn around after a fair few months of treading water, and March turned out to be my best month at the tables since May 2011. It  might seem a bit rich to reflect on the last 3 months when I actually barely played in February due to my daughter's birth, but meh, there's a few things I haven't mentioned on the blog yet, and I've made-up a new graphic to depict how my year is going so it makes sense to deploy it now :)

Although I don't play a whole bunch of MTTs generally, usually just a few turbos a day, I've had some nice results that I haven't bragged about mentioned yet on my blog.

1. My 1st Sunday Major victory!
Ok, it's a slightly misleading headline, that might lead you to think I've won "mad dimez", when actually I didn't. I also only sort of won. On Sunday 22nd March I chopped the $215 Pacific Rim Special Heads Up for ~$4,300 vs another SNG reg who got $90 more than me. We flipped any two cards for the TLBs (Tournament LeaderBoard points) and somehow the hands ended up being JJ vs A3 (rigged) and therefore PokerStars accredits me with a 1st place finish. Wiiiiiiiiiii.

Ok so with 103 entrants it's not quite the Sunday Million, but it was still a very welcome bink.

2. My biggest ever field victory
Prior to this bink, I believe I had never bested a field of more than 300 players. Consequently it felt very empowering to finish 1st of 4250 entrants in the Hot $2.20 on March 16th for ~$1,350. It was pretty fun dominating the final table in the knowledge that the money would likely mean a lot to the other finalists. After the tourney I Sharkscoped the rest of the top 5 just for the craic, and one had this particularly sick graph:

That's a lot of grinding right there. But wiiiiiiiiiiiii @ him finally being in the black :)

3. Two TCOOP final tables
Back in January I played a fair few of the TCOOP tournaments. I obviously bricked every Hold 'em event I played, but somehow managed to luck-box my way to a Limit Omaha 8, and a HORSE final table for ~$4k and ~$5.5k respectively. Further bragaments, I recently got sent these sick card protectors in the post :)

SNG Results:

SNGs have started to go nice and steadily for me again. Steadily, that is, except for a little experiment in $100 6-Max Hyper-Turbos I had (fwiw, although I would understand your scepticism on this matter, on this occasion 'experiment' does not mean tilting my nuts off at them after having a bad day elsewhere. I set out to give them a go, and just happened to run deathly at them, it was at this point I started to tilt my nuts off...). Unfortunately this 'experiment' led to me having my worst ever day on PokerStars yet :(

Fortunately I recovered some money in them, but have ultimately decided that they aren't for me. I'm such a variance nit that such a trial was probably ill advised anyway! I've also ran fairly Godly in other games since then, so if anyone would like to go and reassure the me of March 15th that everything will be rosey in a couple of weeks time, you might spare me some anxiety :)

So the graphic (now revamped) that I last posted towards the end of January now looks like this:

Not too shabby!

<--- Week 4 review | Future review --->