Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Live Poker is RIGGED

I have read a few funny and interesting articles on people’s discussions of online poker being rigged. After a little research there is “software” tools that can help you avoid being exploited by online sites rigging games... only suckers would pay for such tools. Having been in software development myself, it is definitely possible to have code that can rig games. Do I think that the main sites employ such code... 100% not. They would not risk coding such capabilities just in case it got into the main software.

Live games are a totally different kettle of fish, these can be rigged pretty damn easily. Just look at the latest Sorel Mizzi John Racener saga with Sorel dealing the joker off the bottom. A decent card magician can set a deck exactly the way they want with you sitting in front of them without you knowing. I recently saw an episode of “The Real Hustlers” where the hustlers took on 3 members of the Hendon mob and cleared them out dealing from stacked decks.

Now my experience of live poker is limited to the few family games and one or two with a group of friends who do not know how to play. I recently started playing in a monthly game with work colleagues, all who claim to play regularly either online or in a few casinos round London. I saw this as a good way to start my live poker career (lol). The games are a sit and go with 2000 starting stacks and 5-7 players playing.

In my first game, rather than stick to a tight SnG approach I was trying to steal post and out play my opponents after the flop. What I realised only a little too late that these guys were not folding ever pre and I would get into tricky spot. So one hand came up 4 handed, blinds at 50/100, I started the hand with about 16BB and decided to 2.5x UTG, I got 3bet to 800 total by the BB and I shoved over getting snapped called. I had KK vs AA – what can I say RIGGED!!!

Second time round I was playing tighter than the previous game so I tightened up my range to play only monsters and then employ a push fold strategy late on when the blinds were high. Unfortunately, I did not get to the high or even medium blind stages. I was dealt AA on the button 5 handed with blinds at 25/50. Utg limped, CO limped, and I decided to raise 300 from a stack of 1600, getting called by the BB and UTG. The flop came down perfect based on the hands that I saw these two player playing, 245r, the BB checked and the UTG player (someone I have given advice to before) donk bet 500 in the pot of 1k, so I shoved the rest of my stack, the BB said good bet and reluctantly folded. I got called by the UTG play and he showed JJ to my surprise since I was expecting 66-99 or even Ax. The turn was a J and I was out – RIGGED AGAIN.

The funny thing about the second time round was a novice player asked why I shoved for all my chips on the flop. Then the others were giving him a hard time while I sat there thinking, I could have made more money online. The others did try needling me but I wasn’t bothered, I just referred them to a little book called “Fooled by Randomness”. I did remain till the end and think I picked up a few tells which might come in handy although you can never be too sure.

Hope this little tale was enjoyable, if not, unlucky, you got to the end and didn’t find the punch line!

Good luck y’all.

Ps: I don’t actually believe live poker is rigged but always watch out in those self dealt games!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Reflection on MTTs and MiniFTOPs

Every poker player has dreamt about winning a large field tournament with big bucks at the end. Some are lucky and good enough to have done so. Also there are those that are not one hit wonders and repeat the feat a number of times over their career and even multiple times within a single year.

When I started playing poker I never understood how someone could win a 45 or 90 man let alone a field of 10,000. I was always in awe of someone who won and wondered whether I could posses such skill to accomplish the feat. Playing 90 mans has taught me how to win that form of poker and in some ways has given me some insight into approaching MTTs. Also, I have started to really focus on the MTT videos that are produced at PokerVT, especially the content from Jason “JCarver” Sommerville, Jon “Pearljammer” Turner and Bryan “Devo” Devonshire. I have even resorted to reading “Poker One Hand at a Time” during lunch breaks at work – just so I can try to improve my game. Unfortunately for me, I do not put in enough volume of MTTs to realise that dream anytime soon. What people don’t realise when starting out in this game is that those that win have probably been playing for a while, refining there skills and studying to improve.

My bankroll does not allow me to play large buy in tournaments such as the Sunday Million or the large FTOPs events. Plus I am honest enough to say that I would be burning money like so many donkeys that think that poker is easy. Thank god FTP introduced the MiniFTOP series which I have a sufficient bankroll to play in. I see this as an opportunity to get lucky and run like god one time... I am still waiting having played a few events in the current series and past.

This Sunday I entered Event #22 which was a $12 multi-entry Super Stack Knockout Bounty tournament. This is right in my wheel house as so many people over value the bounties. If definitely opens up opportunities that you may not otherwise get such as more loose calls by larger stacks “bounty hunting”. Having played solidly for a number of hours I did bust out to mainly standard hands in standard spots. However, every time I built a stack I ran into some bad luck and lose a bunch of chips. Still working on how to play these events consistently well and not make mistakes that damage my stack. I obv have a ton of work to improve but it’s a work in progress. With over 50,000 people entered it was fun while it lasted.

I will be entering a few more this week so look out for another post when I ship a big score! ;-)

Good luck y’all!