Biggest Day/Month of Poker

Again, here‘s a link to my old poker blog posts. This seems like a decent location for it now, let me know (in the comments) which hosting site you prefer.

Cash games:

I didn’t really play cash games this month, when I played, it was mostly tournaments. I did play an hour session of 100NL with McAlduff and Fallsy just for fun. I ended up making about a buy-in ($96.85) but was ~$30 over all-in EV. Yes, I sucked out on the short stacks AA with my almighty K3s. That’ll teach him to steal my BB!


Here are the final tables I made for August (all 6 within 12 days). I also had deepish runs in the last two FTOPS events cashing for $2k in the Main Event (145 of 4880). I decided to include the Preflop Unadjusted Fortune Factor (PUFF) from PokerXFactor’s replayer to show how I ran preflop. The way it works is, if you get the proper distribution of cards preflop (e.g. premium hands 3.3% of the time), then your PUFF will be 50 (i.e. average). This only indicates how you ran preflop and does not take into consideration things like postflop play, coolers, losing coinflips, just getting the blinds with monsters, etc.

(I think you can view these if you sign up for a free PXF account)

$8085: $26 24k gtd., 1 of 1567; PUFF = 96
$3655.60: $20R 11k gtd., 1 of 235; PUFF = 80
$2040: $75 Big Double A, 3 of 272; PUFF = 57
$493.50: $26 11.5k gtd., 6max KO, 6 of 705; PUFF = 41
$436.80: $75 Big Double A, 7 of 208; PUFF = 89
$428.25: $20R 11k gtd., 7 of 194; PUFF = 48

I ended up playing ~1/2 of the days this month (15). Here’s Poker Tracker 3’s summary of those days:
Sunday, August 17 was my biggest MTT day by far. I won ~10k on the day (the $535 buy-in was payed through a satellite entry from the night before so I consider that buy-in as profit on the day). Also, below is a graph of the month. I think MTT graphs really show how much variance there is in tournament poker. I didn’t really win anything at all for the first 70ish tournaments and then BAM, I can’t lose a coinflip! I ended up making about 11.5k profit on the month (most definitely my biggest month).
FTP TLB Points: 1726 (I don’t believe I was ranked in the TLB, 250th had ~2500 points).

Speaking of the Tournament Leader Board (TLB), The Yid is pretty much always on top of the Full Tilt TLB. I have played over 1k hands of MTTs with him (pretty much seated at a table with him any night I play MTTs. He ended up taking down (chopping) the first Big Double A that I FTed this month (I came in 3rd). He’s a sicko. Not a sicko like lilholdem or BeLoWaBoVe, but a sicko in terms of consistency/grinding. He actually plays very TAG and rarely busts early in tournaments. He must be a master of the preflop game, if that’s the case. Anyway, I decided to send him a PM at PocketFives to see if he discusses poker strategy/hand analysis with others. It turns out that he teaches people to play tournaments. He trains out of Las Vegas, South Carolina, and Costa Rica (I believe). He charges $2500 for 4 days of intense training and you have to give him 10% of every tourney profit over $200 for the year after training. This seems like a TON of money/equity to give up for training but I think it would be worth it. Just this year, he’s up 150k+ on FTP, 32k on Bodog and like 200k live. That’s over a third of a million! I also PM’ed some of his previous students and checked their databases. They all said that the training was definitely worth it and some of them are even ranked (top 100) on PocketFives.

Just for fun, I asked Maven (The Yid) what kind of setup he has: two 30″ monitors to play on and a 24″ placed vertically between them for databases. Man, would I love that setup!

MTT databases/rankings:
PocketFives (currently ranked 4th in Edmonton)


FTPoints: 152,340

Iron Man Medals: 1253

Account Bankroll
Stars $115.07
FTP $20,034.38
Staking1 $1,545.90
Staking2 $50.00
Rakeback $95.45
Total $21,840.80

Miscellaneous (Poker):

So, there’s always been a sort of void in poker software in my mind. I have a ton of analysis programs but I’ve always wanted a sort of combination of them all with customizability. StoxEV is definitely the best all-around analysis program out there and does a great job. However, I sort of want something that is more convenient for strictly preflop play (like the push/fold calculators: SNGPT, SNGWizard, SNGEGT). One of the things that I dislike the most about these programs is that you cannot customize the rankings used. They will either use the Sklansky-Chubukov numbers to rank the 169 preflop hands or something like each hand’s equity vs. a random hand. Then, when you choose “Top X%”, it will use those rankings. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the option to create a custom ranking? For instance, what if I wanted to create a ranking such that each hand is ranked (based on equity) vs. the opponent’s range (e.g. {any broadway}). Some of the programs will also only let you choose the “Top X%” range as well. What if you wanted to take out certain hands from the top of a range because you know the opponent would play those differently?

Another problem with some of these preflop SNG programs is the graphing. SNGPT has no graphing option at all, SNGEGT has a pretty crappy graph that it associates with a push/fold or call/fold decision. SNG Wizard, in its defense, actually has a pretty nice graphing feature. I would like a program that has a very good graphing feature and is more customizable than the existing ones. For instance, what if I wanted to compare the cEV (chip EV) and the $EV of a play for a hand vs. the Top X% of hands. This would be especially useful for someone who plays both SNGs (or MTT final tables) and MTTs or short stacked cash games. One move that has become quite prevalent in MTTs nowadays is 3betting (restealing and reshoving). It’s become so well known, actually, that many players are overdoing it and in many of the wrong situations. However, 3betting is still a crucial part of winning MTT play. Have you ever wondered, “If I’m going to 3bet all-in (reshove) and I know approximately which range of hands my opponent will call me with, what range of hands should I be reshoving with? Which is better, JTs or A2o? 22 or A3o?” Well, I know that I’ve definitely wondered about such things. I was even at the point last week where I was going to use Poker Stove for all 169 preflop hands, calculate their equity vs. the top {5, 10, 20, 30, …, 100}% of hands and then plot the results in Excel to see which hands might be better for different reshoving situations based on the opponent’s calling range.

Well, I decided to start writing a program to do such things. Thankfully, the author of Poker Stove created a text file containing all of the preflop hand matchups (taking the average of the equity over all combinations of matchups). I read this text file in and use it for calculations. So far, I can create hands, ranges, hand rankings, do hand vs. range and range vs. range matchups (with equities matching those using Poker Stove), and graphing. Thankfully, I found a free graphing/charting library for Java called JFreeChart which seems to do a decent job. Here are some preliminary graphs for looking at the “robustness” of a few hands. In “No Limit Hold’em: Theory and Practice” by David Sklansky and Ed Miller, they first introduce the Sklansky-Chubukov numbers in a book. They discuss how 22 is a prototypical robust hand. When the SB shoves with 22, assuming they flip over their hand, the BB will have the odds to call with over half of the hands, but 22 will still win close to half of the time. On the other hand, A3o (which happens to have the same S-C number as 22), is only called by the BB about 18% yet when called only has ~35% equity. Here is a graph of 22 vs. A3o:

As can be seen, you can’t really say that 22 or A3o is better than the other. What you can say though, is that against the top X% of a given ranking (here, we’re using “vs. random”), one is better than the other. For instance, 22 does better, equity-wise, than A3o against approximately the top 5-40% of hands. Conversely, A3o does better against the bottom 60% (top 40-100%) and the top 5%. This is somewhat useful information, for instance, if we are in the BB and we know (through experience) that the SB will shove any two cards for less than 10 blinds, we would rather call with A3o than 22 because it has about 5-6% higher equity. Another example is if we are in the SB and we raise, if we know that the BB will reshove with the top 25-30% of hands, we’d rather call a shove with 22 than A3o (because it has higher equity).

Here is JTs vs. A2o:

This graph is kind of weird. A2o does better than JTs against the top 3% and between the top 20-70% of hands. The equity graphs actually cross 3 times here. Once I get more experience with JFreeChart and the capabilities, I might try to graph this as a difference graph which would make the differences much clearer/pronounced.

Anyway, I will likely keep working on the program with free time here and there (esp. when I need a break from poker) until I have it doing most of what I want it to do. I’d like to make it easy to do 3betting/4betting calculations and some leveling games (find ranges based on initial assumptions, then find opponent’s range based on our range, then find our range based on our opponents new range, etc.). If I keep at it after that stuff, I’ll likely add ICM and maybe some Nash stuff. When I’m done, I’ll likely just give it out for free (most of the SNG programs cost $50-$100). The good thing about that would be that people who don’t have extra money but really want to work on their games could use it. Also, if it impacted the sales for the other programs (I own the three others I’ve mentioned), then maybe it’d force them to release better products or reduce their prices (which would never be a bad thing).

RL (non-poker):

Aside from poker, things are going fairly well. Melissa and I are now fully moved into our new apartment. It is sooooo much better than our old one. I didn’t even recognize how much of a shit-hole our old place was until we moved into the new one. We went to the old place for the last time last night to clean/vacuum the place. I was so relieved to finish that and get out of there. It had a very sketchy and unsafe feeling to it. We’re on the 16th floor now and get very nice breezes through the windows. There’s much more sunlight as well so it doesn’t feel so dark and gloomy. We’re both much happier here. The only thing the apartment is missing is a nice big HDTV, currently we’re using a 13″ CRT!

I finished up the slo-pitch season with a bang! Aside from hitting an in-park-homerun, I messed my leg up royally by sliding into third base (it was a really close play and the girl on third was sort of blocking the base with her body). Little did I know that it was the absolute worst possible field in the history of the world to slide on. The field was full of pebbles/rock/gravel and of course lots of dirt. When I slid, my leg was sliced about 30 times and I bloodied up the field. At the time, it stung a little bit, but was tolerable:

However, as the days passed, and I did little to help the situation aside from spraying some saline solution on it (my philosophy on pain/injuries in life has mostly been to let time be the main remedy; this is mostly because I’ve never broken a bone or been really really injured before). Anyway, as time passed, my leg started hurting more, looking worse, and sometimes turning yellow/greenish. This is all normal right?

(Apologies if you’ve just vomited!). Anyway, I went to the Medical Centre on campus, and after a long wait, ended up getting a prescription for some preventative antibiotics and some special ointment (which is supposedly better than Polysporin). As of yesterday, the scabs started drying up and falling off and my leg is looking much sexier now (yet still pretty ugly). I really really hope that it doesn’t scar and that the hair all grows back.

A few months ago, I decided to go to a psychologist for testing because I thought that I might have a learning disability or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or something like that. The reason is because I’m a pretty slow thinker/speaker/reader and thought that this might be due to some disorder/disability. I’ve always done really well in school, but I figured that I just learned to cope and went into the right fields (math-based) where my processing is much better/faster. Well, normally to get such testing, you have to pay like ~$1000 or more, but I went through some roundabout way and ended up getting tested for free. The test started on a Saturday morning and lasted about 5 1/2 hours without a break. It involved lots of different testing (shape/pattern matching, math, pronunciation, memory exercises, personality self-analysis tests, etc.). I got the results back recently and discovered that I don’t have a learning disability or ADD (which I don’t believe 100% but anyway) but that I have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). It is characterized by perfectionism amongst other things and is not the same as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I also got some of the test results back. I scored in the top 99.5th percentile for Math, 99th percentile for Working Memory, 95th percentile for Memory and Learning. I scored ridiculously low (something like 18th percentile, LOL) for the test where you have to rhyme off as many words or things of a specific group (e.g. animals) that start with some given letter of the alphabet. I think my overall score was in the 86th percentile. I think that some of the tests are pretty stupid overall and some are time-based. If something happens that affects the time, they don’t do anything to correct it (for instance, I was doing a connect-the-letters-and-numbers excercise where you alternate between numbers and letters connecting them; e.g. A1B2C3D4… On the last number, I couldn’t find it for quite a while because it was in the corner of the page and my thumb was covering it). There’s also some trivia-like questions regarding geography/history and spelling of words like “bouillon” where I heard it as “Boolean“. You also have to define a bunch of words (a bunch of which I’d never heard of). I’m actually considering getting a second testing (if possible) for ADD because none of the stuff I’ve read about OCPD explains how I’m forgetful/daydreamy/spaced-out/absent-minded/etc.

Well, the Olympics just concluded and I’ve been watching Canada’s Jared Connaughton in the 200m and the 4x100m. I was really interested in the results because Jared’s from PEI and we went to the same schools together from grades 1-12. I also ran on his 4x100m team in Junior High and High School (we actually still hold the Men’s 4x100m PEI record for Junior High). Anyway, Jared made the semi-finals of the 200m but not the finals. In the 4x100m, Canada made the finals but unfortunately Usain Bolt had to compete. Congratulations though to Jared and his team! Next Olympics, fo sho! Speaking of Usain Bolt (pretty effing sick how impressive his Olympics was with 3 Golds and WRs), there is a flash game online where you can race him, here. I have no idea how people have attained numbers that quick in the top 100. I wrote a bot to play the game for me, and I just got 9.44s (enough to make top 100, but no #1: -21474836.48s).

Anyway, I might play some tourneys tomorrow (possibly try to satellite into the FTP 750k gtd.) if I’m feeling up to it.

Good luck and take care,

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