Since my last post I've been working a little on my 50,000 hands of $15/$30 and $10/$20, but have only played 10,000 hands. The main reason is I was in Iowa for 5 days for a friends wedding and wasn't playing at all. Also when I have been playing I've been in the mood to branch out and try a few new things. The good news is I'm making about 50 cents a hand for the last 10,000 hands which is an insane amount and not something I expect to be able to keep up.
I've also been investigating a few other sites and their rakeback deals. On absolute poker I can get 30% of my rake (the fees the website takes from the players) back plus some kind of points. There aren't as many games going, but the players seem worse. They also have levels of status like pokertars, and while I can easily figure out the value of the rakeback (which is substatial, but not as good as supernova elite benefits by a wide margin), I need to play a little more and do some more complicated math to figure out the value of their VIP club benefits.
There are also a few microscopic websites that will give you 90%-100% of your rake back if you commit to playing a certain amount per week and always leave a game if it's full. It's essentailly online propping, but you can play whatever games and stakes you want.
The main problem is lack of games. I don't mean good games, I mean any games. The two sites that I've signed up with to do this have about 200 players on at a given time (Pokerstars often has over 200,000) and most of them are playing stuff like 10 cent/ 25 cent no limit hold'em.
It's also a major pain in the ass to get money in there. I have to get a cashier's check and then mail it to Costa Rica (don't worry, it's not a scam - yes I'm sure). But once I jump through the hoops my plan is to just sit down in a $15/$30 game and a $10/$20 game and see if anyone wants to play me. I'll just park it there all day while I'm playing on pokerstars and if someone sits down I'll probably be head and shoulders above them in terms of skill and won't be paying any rake. If a few players join I'll be in buisness.
So on top of many hours of running numbers, creating accounts and working on getting money into other sites I've been playing mixed games cash games on pokerstars. Specifically I've been playing what they call "8-game." It is a mix of 2-7 triple draw, limit hold'em, limit Omaha-8, razz, stud, stud-8, no limit hold 'em and pot limit Omaha. The games is played 6 handed, each game is played for six hands and then you switch to the next game in the order that I've listed them. I've been playing $10/$20 and $20/$40 (the blinds for the NL and PL part of the mix are $2.50/$5 for the $10/$20 and $5/$10 for the $20/$40).
The scariest part of the mix for me is the pot limit Omaha. Even though I won $33,000 for finishing 2nd of 1,100 in a PLO FTOPS tournament I don't have a ton of experience with PLO. It's a game of draws and especailly playing short handed it's very easy to get all of your money in the pot.
I had an interesting hand come up before I left for vacation playing $20/$40 8-game in the PLO. I worte to my friend Bombay Jack who is probably one of the top 20 PLO players in the world to ask him about the hand. Here is what I said:
I was playing 8-game mixed games on pokerstars yesterday and I had a hand in the PLO that I wanted to ask you about (I don't know a lot about PLO and you're the only person I know who plays regularly).
We are playing 4 handed and the blinds are $5/$10. I started the hand with about $700 and everyone at the table had me covered. UTG makes it $30 to go and gets called by the button. I have QJ98 with the Q9 of diamonds and the J8 of spades, I raise to $130 and they both call.
Is this a reraising hand in this spot or is a call better? Do you like raising the pot or would $90 or $100 be better?
The flop is Kd Td 8h giving me bottom pair, wrap straight draw and #2 flush draw. I bet the pot which is about $400 and get called by the button. It turns out he has AK55 with the A5 of diamonds.
Do you like his call preflop? Do you like his call on the flop? Should I have played the flop differently?
The turn was the 2 of clubs and I only had $165 left so I bet it and got called. Do you think there is any value in checking and trying to save that 165 if I miss? It seemed clear to me that he was on a draw also and I thought there was some non zero chance the 8 might be good.
The river was the 3 of diamonds and I lost to the nuts.
If you get a chance I'd love to hear a few brief comments about this hand. Thanks in advance.
Before I get into what he said, I'd be interested if anyone else wants to comment on this hand. I know I don't have a ton of readers and most of you are hold'em players, but if anyone in blog land knows anything at all about PLO or even if you are just giving the 2 cents of a hold'em player please feel free to comment.