This is the poker blog of LogicallyPositive. I will post all sorts of poker related things including strategy, theory, tournament reports, anecdotes from games, and pretty mcuh anything else related to poker.Questions Submit
Lately I’ve been playing a lot on Carbon Poker and today I decided to experiment around with super turbo tournaments. Basically these are 6-man tournaments that start you out with 10 BBs and blinds go up every 3 minutes. They usually don’t last longer than 20 minutes. As you’d expect, the competition at the micro stakes level is extraordinarily soft.
Given the fact that they’re so fast, you might think it a poor idea to grind them out because faster tournament structures = higher variance. And while that’s certainly true, it is indeed possible to be a profitable super turbo player. This article gives a good summary on the basic idea of how to profitable play these games.
Basically, for the first two blind levels your goal is to play ultra NITty. Play nothing but premium hands: AA-TT, AK, AQs. You can loosen your range up to maybe QK and down to 88 on the button. Either way, when the touranment first starts out, play like a nit.
As you accumulate more chips, you can loosen up your play style due to your significant advantage over the entire table. In fact, its often times profitable to shove with complete air with a large stack in the right position simply because your opponents will be hesitant to shove with nothing but the best.
Since these tournaments are so short and the play is mostly pre-flop (and hence very mechanical) you can easily multi-table these games. I’ve played about about 30 so far today, and I’m making quite a nice ROI. (about 50%). Certainly I need a larger sample size to definitively say whether my play is profitable, but I just get the sense that I’m playing correctly and crushing these turbos. My $EV positive at all stake levels.
I’m going to grind these tournaments some more and I”ll keep you updated, but be aware that they are ultra soft games and a fun and fast way to make cash.
Tonight I played in a tournament at the Electric Stick charity poker room in Westland. I made the final table and ended up splitting the prize 5 ways with the top 5 players. I walked away with $335 overall ($50 buy in and I tipped the dealers $15).
Overall I think my play was very solid. I don’t deny that I did get extremely lucky in some cases (for example, I shoved all-in from middle position with A2 suited after UTG had limped in, and he called my shove with AK suited. I rivered the 2 to win with a pair of twos) but overall I think I did a good job with play.
Specificaly, I felt like I was a lot more patient and it payed off. Still very aggressive, but I made sure to apply the aggression surgically instead of turning into a maniac (like I usually do late in tournaments).
I think I’m getting much better at my tournament game. It’s all about positional awareness, always keeping in mind your stack size relative to the blinds (also known as Harrington’s M) and also in relation to other people at your table.
i just folded JJ preflop b/c i sensed my opponents had better hands due to their betting and i was right. one had AA and the other had QQ.
Was a tough laydown but one of them, who has a VPIP/PFR of 7/7 raised UTG to 2xBB and then the person in front of them, with a VPIP/PFR of 14/10 raised to 4xBB. then someone else shoved and when it got to me I thought then folded.
ends up I was right
I haven’t posted much of any advice outside of certain ways I can improve my game and things I had learned that had worked well for me. So, I figure it is about time.
This tip comes from a Poker Pro Tim Adams. Early in his career he predominantly grinded online cash games. I recently read an article in Cardplayer Magazine on him and in an interview he said something that really stood out to me.
He was talking about playing online cash games and the swings involved. He said that every time he played he would always focus on playing the best he could. He would go weeks without looking at the cashier because the money doesn’t matter. The only thing that adding money into the equation will do is toy with your emotions and bring you off your game. Don’t worry about the money, just worry about playing your best and soon your skill will overcome the swings of the game.
I know the concept of playing your “A” game seems simple but I have found that as my game improves and I learn more and more, the subtle nuances get lost. It is easy to forget that the groundwork is the most important of all.
Now before every game I make sure that I am mentally prepared to play my “A” game it gets my mind of the least important thing: the money and it has helped immensely.
Indeed! The only thing that matters in the long run is expected value. Keep making +EV decisions and you’ll profit over time.
Also do you use poker tracking software? I recommend HoldEm Manager (though PokerTracker4 isn’t bad either). If you ever want to get serious about grinding (which you seem to want to) you will need to invest in this software.
Last weekend I decided to take on Sit & Go tournaments and make my way up through the buy in’s. I decided to start at the 0.50 buy in’s since they are the most popular and I am deep rolled for them. I played 2 six max tournaments and won both. I also played a heads up tournament and won that one too. I am playing on betonline which by the way if any American’s out there are trying to find a poker home I recommend it. There are tons of fish the only downside is the number of players but the fish are so numerous that I haven’t found that too annoying.
I actually recommend sticking to at least $1 buy ins because I don’t know how it works on your website, but on the site I play on (CarbonPoker) the 50 cent turbo tournaments take a 10 cent rake. So that’s a 20% rake charge. If you move up to $1 tournaments, the rake is still 10 cents so you’re only losing 10% to rake. Over time those rakes add up, and moving up to $1 tables (still the same quality of player - bad) decreases the rake charge by 50% of what you were paying at 50 cent tables!
Just a small bit of advice :)
Last night I was playing in a tournament. I made a bad mistake that upon further reflection was due to my own error, though admittedly I blamed it on “bad luck” at first.
I’m 2nd to act in a NLHE tournament UTG+1. The table is rather loose and everyone limps. Even if you raise, people will still call. A table full of calling stations. There are 10 players, only one of them (excluding myself) has any sort of understanding of basic poker strategy + skilled play.
The tournament was deep stacked with a 200k starting stack, no rebuys or add-ons. I have about 180k in chips. There are a few people with ~250k in chips but no one has an abnormally large stack size.
UTG limps, I raise the pot to 3,000 with 99. I get about 5 callers including blinds. Pot is about 18,000 at the flop.
Flop comes up Ks-9s-3d. With this manly callers, I suspect there is at least one person on a flush draw. I have trips at this point, but a flush beats me. First three players check to me, and I bet 10k. I get 3 callers. Pot comes up to about 58k.
The river comes up a Qd. Checks around to me again. I bet 60k. Guy immediately to my left cold-calls, so does the guy behind him, everyone else folds. 3 people in the pot going to the river.
The river comes up a spade, i shove all-in, and get two callers. One of them has an ace-high flush.
I made two errors. The first error was on the flop I should have bet more, probably around 15-16k. That way I get some callers, but it’s more likely to scare the flush draws off their hand. No one re-raised pre flop so I put the possibility of trip kings out (my table has shown earlier that they will raise with premium pocket pairs like AA, KK, QQ).
On the turn though, since there was no flush, i should have shoved. It would have been an overbet, but I guarantee the flush draws would have folded and I’d still take down a healthy 60k pot.
Just wanted to log this particular hand because my play was problematic. now I know for the next time a similar scenario happens what I need to do.
I recently downloaded the Poker Income Tracker Pro app for Android. I highly recommend it for any of you who want to actually keep track of an accurate number of how much money you make, $/hr, BB/hr, etc. It’s really nice. You can get a free trial version, and the full app costs $9.99. I think that’s a price worth paying to get a very specific idea of how much you make. There are also other nice features, such as the ability to take pictures of other players and store notes on them for future reference.