Monday, August 09, 2010

L.A. Misery

I'm home now and finally after many delays ready to give a synopsis on my 6 tournaments at the Bike.

The first was a $335 re-entry tournament. There were four "day 1s" for this event and if you played day 1A and went broke you could try again on day 1B, 1C, or 1D. I ended up playing on day 1D and on that day alone with had almost 600 entrants. In total I think there were 1,500 or so paid entries and a first place prize of $130,000!

We started with 8,000 and I ran my starting stack all the way up to 40,000 before I had two hands go against me. On the first I got a little frisky and it didn't work out. The blinds were 500/1,000 with a 200 ante and I was in the big blind. We took the flop 4 way and it came down A 2 8. After 3 checks the last player to act bet 4,000. I thought there was a fair chance this was total bullshit and I felt like he was a player who could fold a hand as good as a weak ace so I made it 11,000 to go with total air. Before my chips were out of my hand he was all in for 25,000. I folded and he rolled over a set of deuces.

Some time later I was down to about 18,000 chips and the blinds were 800/1,600. Again there were three callers in front of me and I was in the big blind. With the antes there was about 9,000 in the pot and I thought there was very little chance I get called so I moved all in with 34s. Shockingly the second preflop limper had JJ and I was out. I finished about 100th of 600ish needing to get to the top 28 to make day 2.

The equity of those 40,000 chips was $1,500, but I couldn't turn that equity into cash.

The next event was $225 shootout. The structure was pretty fast and I got TT when the big blind had AA. Not much to do there, but go broke. Interestingly I'm 99% sure the guy who busted me was Bill Fagerbakke who played "Dauber" on the TV show Coach.

Later that same day I played $275 NLH with $50 bounties. 10 minutes in I made a set vs top pair and doubled up (I just missed the bounty leaving my opponent with 500 chips). Later in the tournament I picked up one bounty when I busted a short stack, but never really got anything going.

The next day should have been a good one for me. At 1 pm was 6 handed no limit and then at 6 pm was HORSE. Again we started with 8,000 chips, I played great and ran my stack up to 37,000 at my peak.

Then I had three hands go against me. On the first I had QQ and lost about 15K chips to KK. On the second I raised with JJ, got called by Q6 suited, all the money went in on the flop (he flopped a flush draw) and the river was a queen. Finally I had 77, raised under the gun, got called by the player to my left who had A2, and the flop came three aces. Annoying!

The equity of those 37,000 chips was $925, but I couldn't turn that equity into cash.

The HORSE tournament was the hardest loss to take. We started with 160 players and I finished 23rd. We started this one with 5,000 chips and at a time when the average stack was 18,000 I had a chance to scoop a pot that was 70,000 chips. We were playing stud hi-lo and I made an ace high flush and a 7 5 3 2 A low, but the guy who lost his mind with trips and no low made a full house and I got half.

That still put me with 35,000 chips and twice average, but I couldn't get the job done. On my final hand I made trips (playing Stud), got it all in by 6th street and at that point my opponent had a straight draw and a flush draw. I think I was about a 3 to 1 favorite to win a 35,000 chip pot and be above average very close to the money, but he hit and I missed.

Between the 6-max and trhe HORSE I played from 1 in the afternoon to 3 in the morning with no more than a 10 minute break every 2 hours. It was not easy, and it sucked to put in all that effort and lose $500. I did get to spend a few hours playing against Laker's owner Jerry Buss who is an avid poker player and is clearly playing because he enjoys it, not for the money.

The equity of the 35,000 chips I had at my best in the HORSE was $1,400, but I couldn't turn that equity into cash.

My final tournament was another $335 re-entry. Again I doubled my starting stack of 8,000 to 16,000, but didn't get the breaks I needed when the stakes got big.

The total damage for my trip was -$1,620.

I have to say I'd give the people who ran the tournament a C-. Every time a floorman was called to make a decision they seemed like an idiot who took forever to grasp the situation. Also once I saw a decision that was flat out wrong.

Another thing I didn't like was the juice. I everyone one of these tournaments the juice was more than 10%. Then on top of that for an extra $10 (that went to the staff as a tip) you could get an extra 2,000 chips. So for $335 you could get 6,000 chips or for $345 you could get $8,000. What a fat pile of shit. If you're going to make the juice 15% and give some of it to the staff, fine, but don't make it seem like there is a choice to be made.

Actually, not fine. 15% juice is fucking ridiculous. If you can't run a $300 tournament unless you make it 15% juice, make it a $500 tournament with 10% juice.

I also managed to drop $3,000 playing online while I was there and bricked in a $535 FTOPS HORSE event (with 7% juice - just for comparison). I was not a profitable week.


Luis said...

Hi Dave!
Wish you a better online poker week this time!
Do you plan in making SNE next year?

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

Before I say my comment, I'd like you to know I enjoy your blog. It is entertaining and sometimes informative, so please don't stop what you are doing based on a negative comment or two.

I feel like you put too much emphasis on the "Equity" of your chips at a certain stage. The reality is everyone has a similar equity, but only ~10 actually realize some of it and cash. And, nobody ever gets the equity of what their chips were worth. When you bust in the money and had an average stack (call it 12x buy in), you still probably only get 2x your buy-in back. When you get all the chips in the tournament, you still only get the top prize (call it 20% of the prize pool).

What I'm trying to say is, you will always feel like you are running below expectation if you look at that. I don't know specifically what you should look at, but I know that isn't it.

Anonymous said...

btw, i'm not the guy that made that "pro" comment...

jason said...

actually dollar value and chip value usually correspond pretty well throughout the middle portion of MTTs. for example, when playing cashout tournaments, the best EV option is to only rarely cashout for dollar value.
you're right, though, that toward the end, like the final table, chip values and dollar values won't correspond- larger stacks will represent inflated EV, and shorter stacks will underestimate EV.

btw i enjoy the blog-