8 October 2009
Stick a fork in it. It’s done, the 2009 SKYCITY Festival of Poker is over and my liver couldn’t be happier. True story. I’m not drinking till November 23rd. What an amazing 9 days, big thanks to Ejaaz, Toni, Danny and their respective crews. Love to all the internationals who made their way here. Big ups to the girls who made out with them, and their future half poker player babies. To every local who boosted the pot a warm round of applause and of course congratulations to all of those who cashed.
Simon Watt is your champ, making it 2 for 2 for kiwis defending on their home soil. IN the end our final 3 chopped the pot taking 130 each with an extra 40k going to the winner.
For all the details and fancy graphics you can head here.
In much, Much bigger news Dan Sing and I took a third in the teams event. Up against Assadour Assadourian and Rob and last years champs Robert “Donkey this, donkey that” Wang and Marti Carno in 3 way action we eventually got it in with 5,6 off pre flop and got bad beat by Marti and Roberts AK. AK? Who plays the rubbish? But the greatest moment may be in my poker life came earlier when I shoved pre on the final table with 9c10c, I had a call from the button who showed Kqoff. He said, as he had been all evening, sorry, I’m going to flop it… And I replied, sorry but I’m going to river a full house. (Word for f*ing word)
The flop comes A,J,10 giving him broadway and the crowd goes wild!!! I’m down but not out, the dealer shapes to turn, I say “ten” the dealer turns a ten! The crowd erupts! Now I have a stack of outs but I call the final card out of the box. 9! The dealer shows the river 9… May be the greatest moment in poker? Who knows.
Actually yes, yes it was.
Hope you enjoy the webisodes, big thanks to William Wallace who shot and edited them. If you want more let SKYCITY know!
- SKYCITY Festival of Poker 2009 Webisode 09
- SKYCITY Festival of Poker 2009 Webisode 07
- SKYCITY Festival of Poker 2009 Webisode 06
16 – 17 October 2009
Interviews with Danny McDonagh and Lee Nelson!
- SKYCITY Festival of Poker 2009 Webisode 05 – Lee Nelson
- SKYCITY Festival of Poker 2009 Webisode 04 – Danny McDonagh
15 October 2009
Well Day one is in the books, Just under 300 of the regions best have plugged away and here are those that will go through to play today. Some notables are our two celebrity entrants Brother D and Joe from Supergroove.
I’ve staked half Dan Sings Buy in so I’m happy to see him in there battling away.
Celina Lin’s still in, Eric Assadourian has $34700, Tony Hachem sitting above average at $53400, Kiwi comedian Mike King has just over starting stack with $20700 and last years champ Daniel Craker is still in the hunt for back to back titles with $37000.
Your big stacks are Lance Climo from Hamilton who holds $134400 and the biggest of all chip leader Emad Tahtouh on $162900 I picked Emad as my pre tournament favorite. He’s been due a big win for a while. Will it be Auckland? Stay tuned poker fans, the biggest poker event in New Zealand history is only just warming up…
Day 2 Starting stacks and seat assignments
|Table 1||Table 6|
|Seat 1||Rohin Rup – 63300||Seat 1||Olivier Verdure – 30800|
|Seat 2||Angela Whorton – 21700||Seat 2||Anibal Lee – 29700|
|Seat 3||Donald Garcevic – 11100||Seat 3||Tamas Lendvai – 76100|
|Seat 4||Michael Pedley – 26200||Seat 4||Michael Shinzaki – 109800|
|Seat 5||Richard Lancaster – 65100||Seat 5||Louisy-gabriel Mathieu – 58100|
|Seat 6||Paul Foltyn – 29400||Seat 6||Bruce Wilkinson – 32300|
|Seat 7||Terry James Gardiner – 25300||Seat 7||Angie Fitzgerald – 37500|
|Seat 8||Robert Megino – 21700||Seat 8||Alojz Zdjelar – 16400|
|Seat 9||Jamie Sadler – 23000||Seat 9||Dan Sing – 15000|
|Table 4||Table 7|
|Seat 1||Raphaël Simoneau – 19800||Seat 1||Lance Climo – 134400|
|Seat 2||Sam Hill – 57100||Seat 2||Raj Ramakrishnan – 59700|
|Seat 3||Brett Unkovich – 14800||Seat 3||Julian Dapena – 16000|
|Seat 4||Emad Tahtouh – 162900||Seat 4||Sal Fazzino – 28800|
|Seat 5||George Moussa – 41100||Seat 5||Mark Philip – 3600|
|Seat 6||Grant Levy – 35200||Seat 6||Eric Assadourian – 34700|
|Seat 7||Kane Sherwell – 24000||Seat 7||Michael Mariakis – 11300|
|Seat 8||Arnaud Bulle – 68300||Seat 8||Daniel Craker – 37000|
|Seat 9||Ray Walker – 15300||Seat 9||Taiho Riini – 48900|
|Table 5||Table 8|
|Seat 1||Raphaël Simoneau – 19800||Seat 1||Terry Fan – 31900|
|Seat 2||Sam Hill – 57100||Seat 2||Raymond Siale – 22100|
|Seat 3||Brett Unkovich – 14800||Seat 3||Mike King – 20700|
|Seat 4||Emad Tahtouh – 162900||Seat 4||Anthony Hartigan – 10600|
|Seat 5||George Moussa – 41100||Seat 5||Shaun Gray – 35300|
|Seat 6||Grant Levy – 35200||Seat 6||Nicholas Becker – 29900|
|Seat 7||Kane Sherwell – 24000||Seat 7||Jason Brown – 51800|
|Seat 8||Arnaud Bulle – 68300||Seat 8||Wyn Belmont – 41300|
|Seat 9||Ray Walker – 15300||Seat 9||Geoff Smith – 30200|
|Table 9||Table 10|
|Seat 1||Michael Nixon – 28400||Seat 1||Honi Morison – 22700|
|Seat 2||Emma Grace – 10500||Seat 2||Billy Woolsey – 32500|
|Seat 3||Jens Walther – 58900||Seat 3||Matty Mitchelle – 27900|
|Seat 4||Wayne Barry – 10600||Seat 4||Dennis Huntly – 27400|
|Seat 5||Candice Smith – 18100||Seat 5||Glen Howes – 39900|
|Seat 6||Sean Wilson – 47500||Seat 6||Joe Lonie – 35500|
|Seat 7||Daniel Williams – 35500||Seat 7||Jordan Pearce – 25900|
|Seat 8||Celina Lin – 16300||Seat 8||Ben Butcher – 37900|
|Seat 9||David Allan – 25000||Seat 9||Leonardo Rago – 51400|
|Table 11||Table 12|
|Seat 1||Hongkai Shi – 26400||Seat 1||Robert Floyd Browning – 25800|
|Seat 2||Robert Vishnudatt – 54900||Seat 2||Fabrice Douyere – 11300|
|Seat 3||Shilton Smith – 70400||Seat 3||Luke Edwards – 57400|
|Seat 4||James Ciurlionis – 105600||Seat 4||Jim Giannoukos – 54800|
|Seat 5||Jason Mui – 17600||Seat 5||Lucas Lang – 29800|
|Seat 6||Graeme Putt – 55200||Seat 6||Aaron Golledge – 32800|
|Seat 7||Michael Bena – 28900||Seat 7||Geoffrey Fitzpatrick – 31500|
|Seat 8||Chris Tau – 28500||Seat 8||Holger Kanisch – 30900|
|Seat 9||Kris Williams – 24700||Seat 9||Helmut Waicane – 70900|
|Table 13||Table 14|
|Seat 1||Sherif Badran – 27500||Seat 1||Tim Macbeth – 49100|
|Seat 2||Danny Leaoasavaii – 7900||Seat 2||Chris Fitzgerald – 40300|
|Seat 3||Aaron Benton – 44200||Seat 3||Ronny Wijaya – 30100|
|Seat 4||Ke Sijia – 24900||Seat 4||Mika Petteri Piironen – 57200|
|Seat 5||Joseph Campbell – 18800||Seat 5||Tony Hachem – 53400|
|Seat 6||Oleg Epp – 30500||Seat 6||Mike Tyler – 23400|
|Seat 7||Ropati Toleafoa – 43000||Seat 7||Nikita Boyko – 47400|
|Seat 8||Angelo Rigopoulos – 18600||Seat 8||John Cheung – 22200|
|Seat 9||Jason Jarvis – 18600||Seat 9||Daniel Hall – 93600|
|Seat 10||John Parker – 16300||Seat 10||Charles Swan – 15600|
|Table 15||Table 16|
|Seat 1||Marc Wittkopf – 22500||Seat 1||Garry Gates – 64100|
|Seat 2||Dennis Waterman – 36400||Seat 2||Steve Gang – 16400|
|Seat 3||Yasuchika Kayano – 39000||Seat 3||Tony Yalden – 40100|
|Seat 4||Jacky Tastavin – 73300||Seat 4||Joe Quinton – 51100|
|Seat 5||Boris Cvetkovski – 29200||Seat 5||Cole Swannack – 59100|
|Seat 6||Assadour Assadourian – 41900||Seat 6||Nick Patterson – 22000|
|Seat 7||Grant Harris – 36000||Seat 7||Nil Echeverria Vidal – 47500|
|Seat 8||James Honeybone – 30200||Seat 8||Kani Edwards – 50200|
|Seat 9||Joe Marchal – 8100||Seat 9||Gerome Guitteau – 99300|
|Seat 10||George Manolas – 36300||Seat 10||Michael Bryan-james – 27800|
14 October 2009
That all over numbness you get when you are knocked out of a major tournament is so hard to describe. I’m there right now. Not more than 3 minutes ago Graham “Kiwi G” Putt eliminated me from The NZPT Main Event.
Early on I was unfocused, timid and often second guessing myself. I made a fold that I may end up regretting to Celina Lim. I raise with KK to $650 from seat 6, she re-raises to 2k from the big blind. I flat from behind. The flop comes 9s 9c 2s… I bet 2800, she shoves 20k. Now I know what you’re thinking, 20k is a lot to bet here, but it’s early in the tournament and I’m pretty sure she has AA. I fold. This was the start of the Celina Lin owns BHS show. Card dead I’d attempt to raise every couple of orbits, she’d re-rasie every one. It’s been 10 minutes now and my numbness is fading. I’m now at the stage where I’m thinking “now I can do all those things I needed to do but was too busy this week” – It’s a lie. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than playing in the main event, running deep. This is the first Day 1 exit since last year here. I’m not happy. Still it means I can keep you updated on the goings on at the home of poker. Right now Emad Tahtouh is chip leader with just under 120k… Lee Nelson was out 2nd hand 7s full of 4s losing to quad 4s.
Lesson of the moment.
Follow your hand plan.
From the moment you look at your cards you need a plan. The flop texture, the way your opponent’(s) behave, the betting may affect this but you should always be referring back to your hand plan. Here’s an example. You’re first in to the pot with a raise from Hijack with 67s, your plan is to smash the flop with 2 pair or a strong draw. The Button calls, so does the BB. The flop comes 2c,5h, 7d. The BB checks, you have top pair and as many people tend to do you think, top pair, worth a bet, you bet the pot. You’ve left your hand plan. You weren’t raising to hit 1 pair! But for some reason you throw the plan out the window. Of course this gets worse when the Button calls and the next card is a Jack. You see where I’m going. Your hand plan was formulated with a clean and clear mind. In the heat of play it’s easy to make decisions you’ll look back on later and kick yourself for. I just raised from the button on Kiwi G’s BB with A6s, My plan, to win it there.
Post flop this hand goes south pretty fast, the flop comes 8c, 5s, 2h. He checks, I bet, he calls, the turn is an ace. He checks I bet, he bets 95% of my stack. If I fold I only have 5500 chips, CSI is at 1350. I shove it in.
Now what was I hoping for here. As far as I can tell I can only beat a bluff. My hand plan, to steal blinds has turned into a two shot bluff with a “call in” tacked on the end. Kiwi G shows a set of 8s. I don’t mind giving him my chips, he’s a legend and a great ambassador, but I’m a better player than that. That’s the numb feeling. My body desperately trying to remove itself from my head. “head, you’re an idiot”.
Anyway, I’ll be here all week, updating the state of play. Email me if you have any questions.
24 July 2009
Queenstown is amazing, you have to give it to Danny and SKYCITY, they’re onto a winner here. I imagine in 10 years time Queenstown could be one of the worlds “must do once in your life” poker tournaments. Don’t get me wrong; Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne are all great, but there’s no city in the world like Queenstown. Every morning the hotel lobby is humming with Australasia’s best poker players deciding what they’ll be doing today in the southern hemispheres best winter village.
At the tables it’s been rough for many of the pre tournament top contenders. My personal favourite story is Eric Assadourian vs. Josh Egan… Eric must have underestimated Josh’s abilities. (Maybe Bluff Mag is to blame here as they have no photo of him online) Early in the day Eric may have made a statement to the effect of “The $2500 stake must have been a lot for you” Later the chatty Sydney-sider got it all in on a straight plus flush draw up against Egan’s set and wound up 2nd best. Lesson: find out who the guys at your table are. In Eric’s defence I love his banter… He’s a great ambassador of Poker and long may he table captain.
I’m sitting on 29,475 at the start of a very interesting Day 2, split into 3 sessions, I play in session 1 at midday, and then break while a second session plays from 3 till 6, then we all get together for promises to be a long night. All after 5 hours sleep.
Other notables in day 2 are:
- Grant Levy: What a great guy, along with Eric Grant does a perfect job balancing poker and being an accessible nice guy promoting the tour and the sport in general. Grant’s sitting on 35,800 and will play in session 2 at 3pm.
- Josh Egan: He walks quietly but carries a big stick and he’s sitting on a comfy 42,975
- Emad Tahtouh: Great poker player… Has a habit of making the good end of the money and is due for a win. 24,800
- Julius Colman: I don’t know much about him but he has 114,425 chips WTF!
- Tony Hachem: Tony runs good in NZ and has plenty of cashes on the tour already (2nd overall) Nice guy, wanted to punch me once. 39,000
2 June 2009
Once again my blog is a story of success and failure… The first ever SKYCITY New Zealand Poker Open was a monster hit. Over 140 kiwis signed up to battle it out in the second largest poker event ever held in New Zealand.
THE CELEB CHALLENGE
The Celeb Challenge on Thursday night was huge and for once good poker won on the day. Dan Sing taking first and Mike King second, both got tickets to the main event… The beautiful Clare Chitham came in 3rd, and for her first tilt at poker did an amazing job. It was no mean feat navigating her way through 50 rabid celebs all chomping at the bit to take the crown.
To my delight Lee Nelson, New Zealand’s best poker player and 2006 Ausi Millions Champ arrived for the celeb tournament and decided to stay for the main event.
THE MAIN EVENT
The excitement at the poker zone was at fever pitch. Who would be the first Open Champ? Within an hour I knew they would not be of Maori/Indian decent.
There are days when you have a deep understanding that Jesus, and may be Krishna don’t want you to win. Sunday May 31st was one such day for me. I had the worlds most active table. I should have just shut down and waited to find strong strong spots but a combination of frustration and a long run of below par cards had me making moves on a table where active play was like cross country run on the Israeli – Lebanese boarder. Mike King was at the table and had it right. Wait and pounce… (Mike made it to 15th, the exact bubble, I was out in 3 hours) in the end Jamie Kristov took down over $41,000 for first beating out a determined Joe Alis and a seemingly unstoppable Wendy Cook who eliminated what felt like a third of the field.
THE NOT SO MAIN EVENT
I was upset with my play on Sunday and came back Monday to watch the final tables and to have a crack at the $330. You’ve got to get back on the horse and apply what you learnt from the day before. I’m happy I did. Lady luck was on my side, some good cards and some ok play got me to heads up with the legendary Robert Wang. Robert’s English is perfect except he uses Donkey like the Smurfs use Smurf… Every 3rd word is Donkey, I actually heard him ask the bartender for a Donkey & Coke, no ice… Anyway, 4 handed he’d survived an all against me A9o versus my Queens and spiked a repeat 9 on the river. Then in heads up had him covered, I smooth called with AK from the button thinking he’s raise with any Ace or any king. He checked, the flop came 4 T K, he bet 2k, I 3 bet raised, he pushed I called he said donkey!
All good till the turn comes 8, river blank I’m down to 10k and all in with A8s two hands later. Still the 2k for second was a much welcome pick me up and capped a fantastic weekend of poker. If you weren’t there mark it down for 2010, It can only be bigger and better!
28 May 2009
1. the disagreeable physical aftereffects of drunkenness, such as a headache or stomach disorder, usually felt several hours after cessation of drinking.
1. queasiness, sickishness, qualm, nausea.
Good morning people that read my blog (mum).
Today I am in shock. Last night’s Jim Beam Crow Bar Cup Home Game Challenge was a monster success in every way. 10 teams entered and 97 team members battled it out for Glory, the countries oldest poker trophy, seats in this weekend’s main event and thousands of dollars in Jim Beam. Actually, a success in every way but one…
My team, The Mighty La Vida Poker did not win. Not even close. Yes we looked good: brand new hoods, our three teams dotted with solid poker talent, our egos glistening in the light of the 3rd floor pokies… But we choked. You would have thought the recording of Current World Series Champ Peter Eastgate claiming life long loyalty to La Vida poker then delivering a passionate shuffle up and deal would have spurred the likes of Mike King, Dan Sing and Matt Wall on to victory. Instead they were back on the rails quicker than Kate Moss… The team victory went to QQQQ…
* Boris Cvetkovski
* Chantelle Russo
* Desmond Jefferson
* Garrick Knight
* Mark Lodge
* Siu Chhour
* Stret Cvetkovski
* Tom Stanfield
* and Fred…
The Beat beat Poker boys gave them a run for their money and one of their crew, Fred Williams, eventually took out the over all trophy victory. The QQQQ (they claim it’s pronounced 4 quest, but come on guys it’s poker any one can see that’s 4 queens!) were gracious and passed around boxes of Jim Beam to those that made the final table. God knows they have a lot to go through, I didn’t count what Jim Beam sent but it’s a pallet, so at least 60 boxes of 10, maybe more!
Happy drinking, I hope you feel as hungover as me for the rest of your lives QQQQs! I’ll be throwing a bigger better Jim Beam Crow Bar Cup in October. Get your teams ready because this time La Vida Poker wont choke. (Not an actual guarantee).
Tonight the New Zealand Open Of Poker Celebrity Challenge!
13 May 2009
Mike King called me today wanting to know why I hadn’t posted Day 2… It’s mostly because I don’t like to think about it!
Pick your spot and your opponent
Day started well for me… Active. I didn’t realize the antes were at $200 putting my CSI calculations off by a fair whack. So it was open shove, open shove, raise, raise, raise, all in the first two orbits. I’d worked my way up to around 38k (54 is average) when another active player who’d already shown AK, AA and KK in the first hour or so raised on the button, I picked up A9s in the blinds and re-raised…
Now let me clear this up… WHY I DID THIS I DON’T KNOW.
I had headphones on, was cranking Muse, and just re-raised him. The Flop came down A K T two diamonds and I pushed. To this day I can’t say why. I guess the first mistake led to the 2nd, I should even be in a hand against this guy with a light ace, and the only hand I can push on is a smash A 9 rag etc… He thought for all of 2 seconds before calling with AK for aces up…
Now I’m down to 3k, the next hour would be a struggle, but a struggle I was destined to lose… 2 days of careful well thought out play (except on day one when I though the 1000s were hundreds and bet 7k into a $800 pot) all up in smoke.
And I’ll tell you what really burns me is when Danny from the tour (the greatest poker ambassador our sport has) reminded me not one Kiwi made the cash! In fact even my poor effort put me at second best NZ effort. Hmmm…
Lesson? All my other moves had been player specific, re-raising players who were raising light from the back… This guy hadn’t shown a bluff, he was the rockiest rock since Rock Hudson gayed off with the rock…
I’m still angry… Bring on The Open and no mistakes.
5 May 2009
NEVER FLY JETSTAR!!!!
I’m cheap, or at least I like to think I can find a bargain so when I saw Jetstar had started up flying to Sydney I booked a $149 each way flight to the lucky country to test my luck in the latest instalment of the ANZPT.
The tour’s started with a bang, Adelaide was an unbridled success, and it looks as if ANZPT will be here to stay, nested alongside it’s older bigger buddy the APPT.
Anyway back to Jetstar. My flight departed at 7.50, and arrived with a few hours to spare before Flight 2 kicked off on Friday. 7.50 means getting up at 5.50 and I accidentally set my alarm for 5. I made my way to the airport, a little traffic, a wrong turn (the new overpass near Car road does not go to the motorway!) and I arrive, thin but not actually late, at the check in at 6.53 only to hear the check in manager explaining that Jetstar in their wisdom as a “new age” airline closes their check in an hour before takeoff. ONE HOUR! A full 20 mins before any other airline that’s ever flown in New Zealand even thinks about refusing a customer.
So 10 to 15 of us, many of whom arrived on the stroke of 6.50, or ass shonk O’clock as they call it at Jet star, including a man in a wheelchair and his wife on a romantic getaway milled around discussing the finer points of customer service or lack thereof.
I stormed over to Air New Zealand customer service, calmed down, explained and asked how much a flight on their next bus to Sydney would cost and low and behold Steve from Air New Zealand Customer service said, “don’t worry Mr. Howard-Smith, we’ve got your back, we can get you there, by 10.30, with plenty of time to donk your chips off and it’s only going to cost you $149″. I hugged him, well I didn’t but I really wanted to.
This is my second attempt to steal money from Australia. The Sydney tournament saw me go deep into day 2 only to crash and burn… And cry in front of strangers. This time I had a plan.
Last year I’d been active from the get-go, and I’d built a stack, but I’d also built an image that invited people to tangle. 2 out of 3 of my big hits in day 1 we’re “bad beats” but what people never talk about is why those “bad beats” happened. Is it because you’ve been playing 3 to 4 hands a round, raising, re-raising and finally someone calls you out, only to river you. Well you made the bed. Now sleep in it.
Being active has it’s pros and cons, you’re more likely to be beat even when you get it in good, because more people are going to call you.
So my day 1 strategy was simple, lots of calls early, very few raises, call down when I think I’m good, even after hitting 2 pair and a set kept the pot under control. Call, Call, Call. Believe it or not I’d turned my 20k starting stack into 46k in the first level… Without ever risking more than 5k or so in chips! I can thank the combined help of Marti Cardno and Dan Sing for some of this direction. The only down side is that they moved me to a crazy table that was playing an average hand of 15k (when the chip stack average was 22k) and ran dry for the next 8 hours!
The best hand I picked up was JJ and lucky me I re-raised the cut off (he’d been very, very active) only to find Aces! Bye Bye 10k! Thanks to a KK8 board I didn’t burn my whole stack! Anyway, the Gst of it is, I have $22,600, Blinds are 1200 / 600 with a 100 ante, so I have 12 BB, just over 8 CSI or M. Enough to fight my way back, but not enough to go 2 orbits with out doing it.
What is CSI? For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about when I say CSI, or M, or BB. They are measures of your stack in comparison with the cost of playing. For CSI (Chip Stack Index) or M (F8ck knows what that stands for) it is your stack total divided by the cost of an entire orbit. So Small Blind plus Big Blind plus antes (if they have them).
There are Key CSI Numbers you need to have etched into your brain. Some may disagree on these but for the most part they are based on Lee Nelson’s advanced math’s, calling parameters and other things we mere mortals can’t understand Buy Kill Everyone to get a better understanding of this.
Here’s the point 1-6 CSI you’re in open shove mode. And many hands you wouldn’t usually shove with become profitable. 78s, Q9s, etc. every successful shove ads a CSI to your stack. 7-12 CSI is exciting, you have enough to call, raise or fold, but not to make a re-raise and play out the hand. Here you may be better to call-shove etc. I like 7-12.
And it’s where I’m at today for Day 2. BHS Day 2 Sydney is hot. More importantly our apartment is hot. Dan Sing and Eddie busted out in flight 1 so about 3 hours into my sleep they made their way home after a long night and I was up. I have a feeling if I make it through today I may need my own hotel room. Lol.
27 April 2009
Hi there Poker fans, I don’t for a second imagine you’re at all curious about what I’ve been up to so I’ll get straight into my weekly “Wow, why didn’t I think of that before.”
SKYCITY is holding regular re-buy games these days and although they’re just another way to approach a No limit Hold ‘Em Tournament, there are several things to take into account when you enter.
1. Always know how much you want to spend before the first cards are dealt.
Whether you’ve decided to play for just one buy in, you want to reload 10 times, or as most people do, somewhere in between. This will help you assess how loose to play when you get into risky situations…
If you are one of those people who like to go into a re-buy tournament thinking “I’m not going to re-buy at all” I have one question… why play a re-buy? You’ve eliminated the positive of a re-buy – the freedom to make more aggressive moves and calls – and given your opponent has an advantage over you, (they sure as hell will be ok with re-buying).
BUT if you’re that guy (or girl) who goes in with no plan and no ceiling on your re-buys you could be getting yourself into an even trickier situation. There’s nothing worse than buying SO many times just cashing isn’t enough! Looking up at the tournament clock and realizing you’re going to HAVE to run deep just to break even. I like to be pretty “middle of the road” when it come to re-buys. I’ll aim my Max spend at around the first cash amount.
The first thing you’ll notice about a re-buy tournament is how it shifts peoples usual playing style. I strongly suggest you sit back and watch early on, even more so than in a normal freeze out. Find out who is prepared to be a maniac and who’s trying to get through waiting for big hands to catch the maniacs. Picking your targets will define how well you do as during the re-buy period the hand is a hell of a lot more likely to be played out all in.
The multi re-buy maniacs will be happy to open raise with any suited connectors and will often be happy to coin flip on small pairs. So adjust your calling range to include mid to high suited connectors (9Ts, TJs even 78s) when you’re in position. If you do pick up a big hand, AA, KK, QQ, you may want to apply enough pressure on them to get it in before the flop.
If not they’re far more likely to shove if they hit anything after a raise in a re-buy.
Finally, an update on SKYCITY’s New Zealand Poker Open running May 31st, June 1st and 2nd. It looks like this event will be capped at around 200. Now seeing as we get 120-130 for our smaller events I imagine this will sell out! I’ll see you there, this weekend I’m off to play in the Sydney leg of the ANZPT with a crew from NZ…
14 April 2009
Things I learnt a long time ago but have now realised apply to poker.
Tournament poker is very much about your mind set. It is no different to other sports or competitions, it relies on you relaxing and knowing what you want. The END goal that is.
In any competition it’s important to separate the battles from the war. We’ve all seen people get beat bad and blow up, or over-celebrate a win, tournament poker is pretty clear cut – it’s about winning the whole thing, being the last one standing. Any celebration or furious rant before you win or you’re out is premature.
The hope is you’ve put effort into bettering yourself, you’ve gotten a good nights sleep and you’ve eaten well. Now all you can do is find YOUR game and play it. Yes you may make little mistakes, but don’t compound them by dwelling on them. ENJOY yourself. In the same respect it’s important not to get too excited if you’re running well. Be gracious in both victory and defeat. I say it like I’m good at this, in fact I’m crap at it, I get far too emotional at the table… This blog is as much to convince me as you.
But now that I’ve published it I better be well behaved, or you can throw it back in my face!
Finally, with Queens Birthday weekend and the New Zealand Open of Poker coming up I urge you to spend some time learning. Find a poker player you respect and ask them for feed back on your game. It’s simple but for some reason none of us do it. I’ll see you on Wednesday 27th of May with your “home game” crew for The Crow Bar Cup Home Game Challenge and later that week for The Open!
31 March 2009
Why hello there. Do you think if the person who invented blogs had known how many there would be they would have come up with a better name. Hardly inspiring. Blog. It sounds like a glutinous bodily fluid, or some kind of bowel dysfunction.
Now, a while back I talked about home games and it got me thinking… is my home game the best in the country? Who knows… I doubt it, we drink a bit… But all this gave me the idea of having a tournament to find out who’s home game stacks up.
So… on Wednesday the 27th of May (I haven’t really cleared this with Toni at SKYCITY yet, but she loves us so…) I will be holding The Crow Bar Cup Home Game Challenge at SKYCITY in Auckland. I assume you or someone you know plays in a weekly or monthly hold ‘em home game and has often thought “I believe our crew is the best in the country”. Well here’s your chance to find out if your posse has what it takes.
You will need between 5 and 10 people per crew, (if you have more than this enter two crews). Entry will be $110 (I will try to convince SKYCITY to remove their rake), prizes will include entry into the main event on Queens birthday ($1100) and a supply of alcohol and pizza for your home games (I’m still in discussion with sponsors on this). The winner will also get their crews’ name engraved on the iconic Crow Bar Cup, New Zealand’s second oldest poker trophy.
Let me know if you’re keen… Get your crew ready, I know La Vida Poker will be…
18 March 2009
Bring on the North Island Champs!
It feels like we’ve had a long break from a big MTT, Anniversary weekend was a monster success, more than 120 people playing for over 100,000 dollars. There’s an excitement around the Poker Zone, with poker players itching to get out there. I’m expecting a large turn out – 100 to 150, and the level of play always lifts with these 2 day tournaments. Not mine, but most peoples. There are still satellites, check the tournament calendar. If not bring your 1100 ponys, midday day Saturday the 21st and I’ll see you at the table…
Things I wish I’d known yesterday…
In the preview for this blog it calls me an “aspiring poker pro”, this is like saying Chris Hobbes is an aspiring dancer. I am a social poker player, trying to learn as much as I can. Like many other recreational hold em’ enthusiasts I have a home game and like most of your home games it has developed into a weird world of poker meets the card game bullshit. Playing with your mates weekly is a great way to get face to face game time under your belt but it can develop a lot of bad habits. Our crew, La Vida Poker are notoriously aggressive and this has fostered a style of play that’s sometimes looser than Houston (not the city, the porn star who broke a world record) I call this this home game style Scandinavian special Olympic poker representative.
The other night, while I was talking about this very blog, one of the crew pushed over the top on a T, Q, 6 board with K9. In his world this was a semi bluff… Two opponents folded, one called with KQ. Low and behold the jack came on the turn, our semi-bluff-gut-shot-jockey hit the nuts and made some coin. The only problem is he bet two people out of the hand. This is a cardinal sin. If you are drawing to the nuts I think you need to make a decision. Is it cheap enough to call? If so, do it… If not fold… ( it would have to be pretty f-ing cheap for me to be calling with a gut shot.) Why re-raise here. The better is most likely going to call and you’ll be in my friends position. Losing all your money or making less than you could have. Five hands later he did it again, this time he hit on the river. I guess my advice here is a) don’t use nuts draws as bluffs, b) don’t let crazy-home-game-poker seep into your game. I know it’s fun and you’re most likely drunk… But don’t do it. See you at the NIC’s
1 March 2009
Yesterday SKYCITY held a deep stack Tournament, with just a $220 buy in people could feel what it was like to play in a 10,000 chip MTT at the casino. A brilliant idea that will help we locals get some deep stack game time without breaking our bank. In the past we’ve been starved of tournaments with antes, my hope is that these continue, and that I play better than I did yesterday!
So on to my things I’ve leaned from better poker players… For a while now I’ve been a big fan of small ball poker. It’s a technique that allows you to play more hands while limiting your risk. You never want to risk a high percentage of your chips unless you’re dealt a monster hand. Early on in a tournament stealing blinds is pointless; the potential increase to your stack is just too small. Instead, your goal should be to play a wide range of hands, get some action, and pick up chips from the weakest players at the table.
Two key points: In these early stages, make the minimum raise anytime you are the first player to enter the pot. Also, if another player raises in front of you and you have a hand you want to play, just call.
Do not reraise; just call and see the flop. At this stage there isn’t sufficient value in trying to steal the blinds with a big reraise. Even if you were successful, there’s not enough upside potential considering the risk you’d be taking.
You see, in tournament play, the early stages are all about trapping. So try this: With blinds at 50-100, raise to 200; with blinds at 100-200, raise to 400.
I’ve “borrowed” this guide to raises from the inter-web:
100-200 blinds with a 25 ante – raise to 400
150-300 blinds with a 25 ante – raise to 700
200-400 blinds with a 50 ante – raise to 950
300-600 blinds with a 75 ante – raise to 1,400
400-800 blinds with a 100 ante – raise to 1,800
500-1,000 blinds with a 100 ante – raise to 2,200
600-1,200 blinds with a 100 ante – raise to 2,800
800-1,600 blinds with a 200 ante – raise to 3,800
1,000-2,000 blinds with a 300 ante – raise to 4,800
1,200-2,400 blinds with a 300 ante – raise to 5,800
1,500-3,000 blinds with a 400 ante – raise to 7,200
2,000-4,000 blinds with a 500 ante – raise to 9,500
Notice that the recommended pre-flop raise never exceeds 2.5 times the big blind. In fact, it’s actually best to slightly reduce the size of your pre-flop raise in order to conserve even more of your precious chips.
Consider this scenario: With blinds at 1,200-2,400, your opponents will react the exact same way to a 5,800 chip raise as they would to a 2.5 times the big blind bet of 6,000. Proponents of small ball poker, who always look for ways to risk fewer chips before the flop, know that this slightly smaller raise is a bargain!
Small-ballers save a couple of hundered chips every time another player reraises and they decide to fold. Also, it changes nothing in terms of how their opponents will play their hands.
It’s the same when the blinds are at 2,000-4,000. Any player who would call a 9,500 chip raise would call a 10,000 bet with the exact same frequency.
If you feel yourself get very short on chips, say 8 CSI or lower change up to the Lee Nelson special and just open shove on your good hands, if nothing else it will raise an eyebrow from any players who’ve been watching how conservative you’ve been!
Remember don’t push panic button too early and have faith in small ball poker.
One more thing about deep stack events. Never get married to a big pair in early play. In small ball monster means it will be a monster at showdown, because a lot of small ball hands will make to the river. Yesterday Dan Sing was playing out of position against a German, his first time at the casino.
The blinds were 50, 100, Dan raised with 9Ts, one behind called, the German re-raised to 800, Dan Calls, as does the other limper. The flop comes 9d 6d 10c, Dan checks, hoping the German has an over pair to the flop or at least will be representing one, the limper checks, the German bets the pot, 2500, Dan thinks then pushes all 10k. Limper folds, the German makes a quick call with KK. Now 3 quarters of the table thought this was a good call, claiming he had half his stack in the pot (actually 3300 of 9k) I disagree. Even with only just under 6 k he has a csi of 38! He’s crusing, and what on earth is he beating, JJ, QQ!!! As it was he hit his 6 and his half outer with a repeat 6 on the turn, Dan was gone, and the German doubled up. Call me crazy but that early in the tournament I’m folding there every time unless I have a VERY VERY good read that I’m ahead.
20 February 2009
pouk?r/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [poh-ker] Show IPA Pronunciation? ?1
1. a person or thing that pokes.
2. a metal rod for poking or stirring a fire.
1525–35; poke 1 + -er 1
pouk?r/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [poh-ker] Show IPA Pronunciation? ?2
a card game played by two or more persons, in which the players bet on the value of their hands, the winner taking the pool.
1825–35, Americanism; perh. orig. braggart, bluffer; cf. MLG poken to brag, play, MD poken to bluff, brag
I’m a quiet poker player, I like to fade into the background…but talk is not only a part of poker, It’s THE part of poker. It is what defines great players, their ability to own a tables’ conversation poker or non poker. To use that open communication, in tandem with the unspoken nuances of poker to their advantage. A while ago I was inspired by Joe Haschems take on polite conversation. He let a small group of us in a training session in on a secret. Every time he sits down at a new table he asks polite questions, “how’s your day been?”, “Where are you from?”, “How many children do you have?” These questions serve two purposes; firstly to let the table know Joe’s just an average guy, interested in them – it relaxes his opponents. Secondly it shows Joe what they look like and how they act when they’re telling the truth! That my friend is half the battle, if you know what someone does when they’re relaxed and telling the truth, then eventually you’ll know when they’re lying.
Talking serves other purposes, the definition I opened with illustrates that the very name of this game, Poker, comes from the way I believe it’s supposed to be played, gentile prods, verbal and non verbal. Each with the goal of putting your opponent off balance. Each enticing them to make that mistake that will see them out the door and you one step closer to pay day. A local player and good friend of mine Dan Sing is especially good at talking in a hand. He’ll almost be commentating the table action, all the time reminding you that NOTHING is escaping his attention. Each prod has a long or short term benefit, the added benefit is a fun enjoyable table (till you find yourself on the rail). So how can you combat a talker… I’ve seen far too many people try to out talk the great talkers. I remember sitting at Nationals two years ago and watching local after local try to beat Eric Assadourian at being Eric Assadourian. It won’t happen. His skill is as learned and honed as any other poker skill. It’s not something he does on the side! My advice is to lock down. How often do you see a talker ask an opponent a question and you see the victim try to answer with some tricky “of course I have you beat” type answer. The rest of the table is thinking SHUT UP!!!! No matter what you say he’ll glean information from it… You could say hacky-fricken-sack and Eric would get a tell! Do what Lee Nelson told me to do the first day I met him: Pick a spot on the felt star at it and begin breathing exercises. Meditate. Block it all out. The good news is that many talkers use their mouth like bats use sonar. Take it away from them and they’re blind.
Now, There’s good talking and bad talking. If I ever call anyone at the table a donkey you can punch me in the face.
it’s not a clever burn. Every live at home 44 year old throws this sledge online every hand.
If you’ve just been bad beat by someone making a lose call, why would you want them to get self conscious and and tighten up? You want them to make that call every time…
You’re reading my blog, and I’m pretty crap so you’re probably a donkey.
The point is, What are you getting out of your talk, are you just venting some steam? Or are you maximizing your advantage at the table? So he called your pre flop AK raise with A5off and spiked Aces up, so you lost half your stack… Now let him know he’s a poker genius lol… Now’s not the time to be coach!!!
Finally, if you’re not a talker, start small, on weaker opponents, may be my home game… Make sure your comfortable before you try it on experienced poker players. If it’s something you don’t master, you will give more than you get.
I’ll see you all at the North Island Poker Championship
21-22 March 2009. With a guaranteed minimum $50,000 PRIZE POOL*
The Anniversary weekend champs had over 120 starters and I’m guessing we’re in for even more at North Islands!!!
*The prize pool amount is based on number of entrants with a minimum prize pool of $50,000.