Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thanks Fulltilt

A big thanks goes out to FullTilt for getting me back into poker. Their clever little bonus trick worked, and I managed to earn a full $20 out of the $100 they offered before time expired.

More importantly, I did pretty well in the tournaments that I played in order to claim the bonus. I played 22 SNGs during the past two weeks, a mix of $20 and $30 buy ins, with one $10 just to get my feet wet.

I finished in the money eight times which is about 36%. All things being equal, that is about what you expect. Three places pay in a nine person tourney so an ITM percentage of around 33% is average. The key here though is that I had no third place finishes. I had five wins and three seconds and over the coarse of the 22 tourneys finished up $222. Not too bad.

That's obviously a small sample size so you shouldn't read too much into it, but I'm very happy with where I'm at, and how I played in the past few weeks. To be honest, I expected to be pretty rusty and more or less break even. It was more about getting back into the game than any serious expectations at significant profit, but I surprised myself and actually played really well.

I think I was doing a much better job of reading the situation and playing aggressively than I have in the past. Normally if I miss a flop and my opponent bets I give him credit for top pair at a minimum, but lately, I've been doing a much better job of betting those hands before they act, to make them prove they've hit something, and analyzing the situation to determine how likely it is that they have what they are representing or if they are trying to steal a pot.

Of all the tourneys in which I didn't money, I was only upset with my play in two of them. I was playing them both simultaneously and at the time I really wasn't in the mood to play, I just felt like I needed to in order to keep pace with my bonus. My disinterest cost me two buy ins as I played horribly and exited quite early on.

My bonus period has now expired so I no longer have that pushing me to play, but I think I've rekindled the desire to play, and I have a slightly larger bankroll with which to work, so hopefully I'll keep going. We'll see.

Originally posted at

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Back in the Game

Even though I've often though about playing online again I still just haven't been quite motivated enough to actually try it. Full Tilt figured out a way to bring me back though, at least for a little bit.

I finally submitted the required information for the ability to request cashouts via check, and cashed out most of my remaining balance. They must have feared that I'd be leaving for good because little more than a week later they dropped a $100 bonus in my account, redeemable in $10 increments at the rate of $.06/FPP. I usually play the $20 SNG's which earn 14 FPPs per tourney, so that means I need to play in about 120 SNGs in the next two weeks to earn the full bonus.

I'm only expecting to get $10, maybe $20 of that bonus, but that's not the point. The point is I actually played some online poker this weekend.

People have been predicting that the games would get tougher since its more difficult to get money into sites these days. They reason that the good players will keep their or increase their bankroll while the fish blow through theirs and don't/can't reload. I have say that is not the case, at least at the stakes I play. There are still plenty of crappy players around.

People are just as obnoxious as ever. It used to be that you would get some asshole criticizing everyone's play and berating the donkeys when they win a hand about once a day. I think I had one at every table I played at. And they get started right away. First hand they lose they call the winning player a fish and predict his early exit from the tourney. Those two then verbally (textually?) spar until one or both is eliminated.

The best one was this guy who complained about everyone's play at the table. I then took a significant portion of his stack with AJ when he check called through the river with A3 and an ace and four other overcards on the board. The following hand was eerily similar except I didn't pair my ace on the flop. He be $T60 into a $1T000 on the turn than went on a four hand rant about how fulltilt sucks when I called it and rivered an ace to beat him. He didn't technically give me a free card but he might as well have.

Finally he's down to about $T300 and loses a pot because he doesn't have enough chips to push people out. And he complains about that fact. I really wanted to point out that if he was half as good as he thought he was he would have had more than enough chips to properly play that hand, but I didn't really want to get involved.

Maybe I just ran into the most passive players ever, but people's head's up game has seriously devolved. In three games heads up I raised every single time I was in the small blind. It was the exact same amount, every time. There is no way I could have possibly have had good hands that often, yet more often than not they just folded. Every once in a while they would push, but I've never seen so much pre-flop folding in a heads up match before. In one case I think I won over 20 hands in a row with none of them gonig as far as the turn. No exaggeration.

Of coarse I lost 2 of the three heads up battles that I was in, so that just goes to show what aggression will do for you. In the first I just couldn't get the cards to put him away and ultimately tried pushing with a flush draw on the flop after he made top pair to double him up. After that I think I got back to a 5-1 chip advantage before losing another couple of races and the match. I'll spare you the bad beat stories for the second match which I also lost after a lengthy battle in which I had a commanding lead for most of it. I finally won the third time, although it was against the guy I beat over 20 hands in a row, so I'm pretty sure my Cat could have won that battle.

Probably no Poker for me for the next two nights, but I should be able to find some time to play later this week to finish off the first level of my bonus. Maybe I can find some time this weekend for a nice long MTT. Yay Poker. How I've missed thee.

Originally posted at

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