On the good side....I just became a father again yesterday to a beautiful baby girl!! Putting everything in perspective it's a great time for me and hopefully by the time things settle there will be harmony in the poker world.
My wife is about to give birth to my 2nd child so I'm planning on having my schedule being screwed up, but also planning to take a few months off work so I guess it could go either way??? Maybe I can keep running gooood and finally ditch the 9 to 5 once everything is paid for and settled down the road. I still hope to play a couple WSOP events, but all is in the air to see how my wife does with the birth and cross our fingers for no problems. Donkeyherder/Chipstacker2000.
Anyways, I collected myself once again and looked to finish out the night with my last tournament still running. I bought into the standard $50 rebuy 1+1 using Full Tilt's new multiple buyin feature. It was my last of 3 buyins and I had a decent stack. I plugged along eventually found my way to another final table with a decent stack. I was somewhat aggressive and I think I busted almost everybody out until my 2 opponents got allin and left me heads up. 1st place paid about $9500 and 2nd paid $5900. I had about a 3-2 chip lead on my opponent who was a pretty good/solid player and we battled a bit back and forth and eventually I decided to make a deal to take 1st for $7900 rather than risk a lucky heads-up match and losing a couple hands over $3600 difference. I usually wouldn't make a deal but it was about 2am, my opponent was decent, and there was too much of a drop from 1st to 2nd. My birthday was on the 26th so maybe it was a belated gift?
So 11 final tables (Or close with 4 10th's) out of 89 tournaments with 1 win makes me feel much better for the start to 2011. My wife is 6 months pregnant, so I might have things turned upside down soon, but crossing my fingers. Hopefully updates to come.
As of so far I have around $300,000 in total prize winnings (not counting costs) with an avg. finish of 30/100 for non-turbo mtt's, cashing roughly 20%, finishing in the top 2%: 4% of the time, and in the top 6%: 12% of the time, and last year (2010) had 37 final tables out of about 500 multi table tournaments. Most of these numbers would rival some of the best players out there except unfortunately I probably play about 3-10% of the tournaments of those guys who play full-time. My 30/100 avg finish has to beat almost anyone out there, however, my real goal is get better at being more aggressive at the right times and have more deeper finishes and final tables. Looking at the #1 online multi-table tournament player of the year "Moment_mori" who racked up $3 million in total winnings and about $730K as profit, avg finish 39/100, cashed on avg about 15%, however, he played over 14,000 tournament last year alone vs. my menial 500 last year in comparison. So if you were able to multiply my results by at least 10-20X, I would have something to hang my hat on. While I doubt I'll ever play 10,000 multi's a year, but even 5X more, 2500 would produce some pretty impressive numbers.
I also had a pretty solid year on most of my sng's and even a little bit of cash games. From looking at some of the huge money still being made in cash games, I think I will continue to dabble until I get screwed badly and lose my interest. Overall I really enjoy the big multi-table tournaments and feel I could really make a name for myself eventually if I can put in enough time. That also seems to be the only way most online players get recognized and sponsored unless you are famous for something else or score a couple huge live wins.
So far this year has been a tease, going in deep in the Live New Years Oceans11 tourney, then deep in many online tourneys only to get screwed right before the money or final table or as soon as I get to the final table. Literally, I just got KO'd 31/269 before the money on a suckout in the $20 rebuy. I then finished 8th place on the $75 Tilt KO tourney with AQs vs. AQs same hand allin preflop my opp hit a flush - out 8th/403 - $575, and now I'm also currently in with 15 left out of 210 in $30 rebuy. Let's see if this goes any better.......Well I made final table and got sucked into a min raise as BB with 56s as the remaining smaller stack on table and flopped Q86 with 1 club and decided to checkraise allin because I had enough to get a fold out of him if he didn't have a pair of Q's or better or a flush draw. Unfortunately he had both lol. Q10s and hit flush on river. Out 6th/210 - $680. Not bad considering I was grinding into the money as a shorter stack.
At least the finishes are continuing to get better by the week, maybe a couple top 3 finishes by the end of the month.
So September is a new start, and I'm coming in playing well. I just hope I can continue grinding well and eventually mix in a few more multi's here and there. So far, for the year, I've played 288 multi's and cashed 52, with 21 final tables. Normally, I actually cash even better, but I tried to mix in a lot of Turbo multi's which include much more luck. Right now I'm cashing at about 18% and in the TOP 2% - 4.5% of the time, but hope to bump cashes up to over 20% and TOP 2% to over 5%,by the end of the year if I avoid playing Turbos. Unfortunately, I don't get much of a selection for multi's at around 9-10pm during the weekdays. I think I could make a killing if I ever quit my real job and was able to have more free time to play during peak times. Oh well, gotta make do for now until I take that plunge. There is so much going on with the government and regulation, I think it is contributing to online poker, for the time being, to hit a peak. So I think I probably be waiting the rest of this year out unless I can make a huge score or a consistent monthly run of strong results.
Yesterday I also just bought the new Samsung 4G Galaxy Epic phone. I'm not a big phone guy, but the display is awesome and it has a slide out keyboard. More importantly for me you can pay an extra $30 a month and it puts out its own wireless hotspot for up to 8 devices, which I can use as a backup in case my home internet connection goes out!! It doesn't happen often, but the times it has crashed I've probably lost enough $$ to pay for itself every year, not to mention the added benefits of being to able login my laptop anywhere (esp. on vacation) without a fee.
I think my brain's tapped out like James Toney in a MMA fight. I'll be back.
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I understand they can't just go around dishing out refunds for everything and I don't think this type of response is unlike one from any other online poker site, but it was obvious it wasn't an issue exclusively to me and considering I've played on their site at medium to high limits for many years, that they wouldn't at least split the loss to show their consideration.
I actually just returned from Vegas a couple days ago. It would be considered a successful trip by most amateurs after probably making $1500-2000, but subtract out travel, shows, hotel, etc. and I still finished a few hundred ahead, but that's not what I hoped for. I did play pretty well. I actually won a small 30 player tourney at Harrahs the 1st night, bubbled a 180 player tourney at Caesers, and took 7th in a 400 player tourney at the Rio for about $2400, but brutally got dealt 2nd best hands early the $1,500 event I played on wed. and was out within 1 hour, which somehow was the only tournament I didn't get reasonably deep. The 1st hand I got K9s in the SB and it was limped around and I flopped top pair, turned top 2 pair, and rivered a flush only to be sucked out by the Ace high flush. Then a couple hands later I was in the SB again with 108s and limped around and I flopped a flush. No other cards of my suit hit the turn or the river but my opponent also flopped an Ace high flush and I was busto!!
The trip overall was pretty exhausting. I almost never get sick and I was coughing up a storm. I actually had one hand which I rarely steal with complete junk and was greeted with an immediate bloody nose during the hand. Talk about a tell James Bond style?!!! My wife met me down there half way through and we had a good time doing couples stuff the rest of the trip during the evenings after playing.
It seems like the SNG scene is pretty competitive these days and I really enjoyed playing the multi's so I might keep playing them for the next month or so and see how it goes. I have already had some ridiculous call downs by bad players and suckouts ruin a few big final table runs, so we'll see how long I can deal with putting in so much time and getting screwed over.
I have to say the start to this year was pretty dramatic. My friend convinced me to go down to a local casino in San Diego and play in their annual New Year's Day tournament. Usually tournaments there are fast structured crap shoots against pretty weak opposition. This time it seemed we had more room to play and I was slapped in the face with the deck pretty early, flopping sets a couple times and then used my big stack to beat up on everyone for a while until I lost half my stack making a huge laydown with a pair of QQ on a smaller flop to another big stack, who then showed a flopped 3 of a kind. It actually pumped me up and I was able to come back and build another big stack and re-continue my relentless attack until the bubble. I eventually made it to final table with such a big chip lead the entire table was tired and opted to basically give me 1st place (about 5K) so they could chop the rest of the prize pool!! To win a tourney, 1st day of the year, can't get any better than that!!
After that, I continued my "Double-up" SNG grind online for the rest of the month, but had a renewed passion for mixing in some more multi's! Some time towards the end of January I started to get a little bit too confident and really started bumping up the number of table I play at 1 time from 3-4 to 6-8 and I started to slowly develop some nasty leaks (bad habits) in my game. Typically for me when I start to experience bad runs it's due to a lack of focus and recklessness and if you're playing 8 tables at a time even the smallest leak (let alone trying to play optimal strategy) can quickly cause an ugly dent to your bankroll!! Luckily, I was able to cut my losses after dropping $3,000-$4,000!!
In February I jumped a little heavier into the Multi tourneys and did score a few final tables, but got bent over a barrel a few times and finished 4th, 5th, and 9th for some moderate scores. I eventually lost my golden touch in multi's and began doing much better back in the sit in go's (SNG's) and grinded out the rest of February with solid results. One interesting side note for the month, my real job has semi annual meetings to discuss various business and last month we got bussed out to Las Vegas! I can't say I'll ever turn that down, despite some slightly torturous lectures and meetings. We did get put up at "The Palms" which was very nice, and In the evening we did get to roam free. The 1st night I grinded out some 1/3 no limit cash games, which proved to be at least some good practice considering I hardly ever play live games except on special occasions.
The 2nd night, however, I was determined to play something bigger, preferably a tournament, but there wasn't much going on except the Wynn had some things going on and a $200 nightly tourney. I didn't really want to pay for a cab ride there, but couldn't stand the thought of grinding out another night of 1/3 at the Rio. I found a free shuttle but it was stuck waiting on some NASCAR parade. I finally saw a cab and it was only $11 so I made the move hoping I could still make the tourney. I made it there and if you've never been to the Wynn, it is the epitome of fancy pancy wealth, but still a bit overwhelming. I still raced through and found the poker room just in time for the tourney. It only had about 40+ players and quite some odd opposition. Some guy next to me, nice guy, but looked like a coked out 45 year old surfer, but was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and about 150k in bling-bling jewelery? Anyways, I got KO'd 10th before final table after some guy limped 1st in with AQ with high blinds and antes and I shoved from the BB about 10X over him and the SB with KQs and AQ called and I missed.
Oh well, I was a bit dejected, but didn't want to end my run down about $300-400 and I seemed to always do very well actually playing live figuring everyone out, so I saddled up to the only open table (5/10 No Limit )at a decent limit with only $600. I say only because most of the players there started with or had about $1,000 and I didn't notice any donks right off the bat. To my delight they called me out for a 2/5 NL table immediately where $600 was a solid start. The table was pretty loose and I was able to hit a couple solid hands early building up to about $1,000 when I unexpectedly got involved in the hand of my night!:
Most of the hands had a bunch of $5 limpers or a raiser to $25 with a bunch of callers. This time everyone limped $5 around and I raised $30 from the button with A5 (both spades), which isn't a great hand, but with such deep stacks I took a shot at the weak limps and a few called. The flop came something like 853 (all diff. suits) and they checked to me and I bet about $80 and was called my 2 players. The turn was a 9 of spades giving me a flush draw to go with my pair of 5's and I was checked to and the pot was now about $300 and I think I bet about $200 and was check raised by the BB but only to $400. Given the pot odds I could have as many as 13 outs to win and effectively paying $200 more to win the $1000+ the $500+ he had in his stack, so almost 7 to 1. Fortunately or unfortunately, the river drew a blank with a King of clubs and all I had was a pair of 5's. Then my opponent checked to me after check raising me on the turn, which is usually a strong play trying to get more money out of me, but I could tell the king legitimately bothered him and the pot had now grown to over $1,000 and he wasn't committed to following through with the rest of his stack. I basically couldn't beat anything but like a tiger in the wild I knew knew what I had to do and almost immediately shoved all of the $700 I had left in my stack with absolutely nothing! He was so pissed off I had to try not to laugh while there was also about $1,600 on the line. I was pretty sure he had 1010-QQ and the King on the river made him freeze up worried I had AK, KK, AA or 3 of a kind. He kept asking if I had 3 of a kind and finally after 5-10 minutes folded and threw his hand in the muck and I neatly stacked up my $1,600!! Myself and one other solid opponent basically cleaned out the entire table and I eventually finished off the night around 2am. up over $2,400! My best cash game night ever!! Maybe I should play cash games more, huh?
Since then I finished up February pretty strong and my game has been pretty solid ever since. I have kept my # of tables down to around 3-4 and have some time doing poker homework, breaking down some hands and I think it really helped me. This month I have gotten more into 6 handed ultra turbos with good results so far. Wish me luck. I hope some of this success will carry over to WSOP.
2010 feels like the 1st year I expect to have all my endeavors in order and our home is mostly set. This is the first time I feel excited to start the year looking to get in better physical shape and have already been consistently doing mild daily exercises. I have also just started working again on doing homework on the hands I play. (BTW. If anyone knows a good hand replayer for Cake poker that plays out an entire session instead of 1 hand at a time, I would be happy to hear) I have been waiting for another break-out poker year and with all my ducks seemingly in a row, I hope to maximize my performance.