Tuesday, October 25, 2011


What many expected to be inevitable was finally announced today.. That's right, the NBC heads-up tournament is cancelled. Ha! I fool you. Ok ,really, did ANYONE watch two people playing "battleship" on TV? It just is not good TV. But, in a final coup for poker on TV, ESPN pulls the trigger on ending bad, edited poker and will open up the screens to their new, "See a flop, see the hole cards" philosophy. This worked so well in the early week of the WSOP, that I taped and watched all of it, sparing me the onslaught of pointless cutting to celebrities getting it all in, numerous interviews with Jason Alexander or 2 stupid dogs alumni Brad Garrett, and Norman Chad's "jokes". I actually just deleted the edited footage because why watch the highlight of a game that you already watched?

Bring on the future!

As for the future of the Full Tilt brand (today was employee cut-down day), it was widely publicized that there was a sale pending "Groupe Bernard Tapie", which broke in late Sept-early Oct. It was supposedly contingent on the settling of the DoJ suit. There are 3 notes here, which are speculation (but good speculation) on my part:

1. Subject to settlement of the issue means that they want the DoJ to unfreeze the funds and let the company keep them as assets. This would be used to attempt to pay back players of essentially (25%) of its liabilities/deposits. Why 25%? That's all the cash there is! This would end the new companies liabilities to depositors*.

2. That the DoJ will in effect, attempt to go after the Pocket Kings owners* and release the new owner from those liabilities and thus also potential lawsuits.

These are significant to both the DoJ and to the purchasers. Taipe could NEVER get item 2 if everyone washes their hands of the current liabilities to current depositors.
But the brand value is not there after paying 100% back, as the price is now to high. So, they offer to refund all the monies that the government unfreezes. Smart. and limits liability to what is already on hand. "everybody" wins. After all, do you want 25cents/dollar back or zed?

As for what Taipe PAYS for Full Tilt... Tapie has Pocket Kings over a barrel here and can pressure that "board" (if you can call it that) to "take what it can get before the value goes to zero". But it can't possibly be enough for the officers-owners to avoid bankruptcy and potentially a permanent ban from returning to the business. Not to mention the players who might literally "Beat the money out of them in a dark alley". If I were those guys, I would consider living LITERALLY outside the US.

And as I continue to maintain, do not compare this to poker-spot. It's like comparing a bank-failure tin 1930 to 2008. They are different animals.

3. And this is a big one... its in the best interest of Taipe to stall until they can see where H.R.1174 is headed. If it passes, they can recoup their investment relatively well. If it does not pass again and dies, they can pay rock bottom dollar for Full Tilt and take their sweet time drafting paperwork.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Repeat Offender

Was there ever a lesson that no matter how hard someone beat it into you, just did not take? Mine is middle pairs on a single overcard board.

I worked my starting stack early and often Saturday, but kept running into "great places to peel a card to no avail" situations which kept giving back my marginal profits. Still, they were all good spots and I had options because of my accumulation of chips through a combination of some good reads and good situations. But with 12k in chips, the MP makes it $1100 (blinds were 200/400) with $5500 behind. I have 88 on the button. Such a bad spot. Folding is too weak, raising is too reckless (and really gets called 99% of the time). I can out her on any decent hand AK-AJ, pairs, even KQ/KJ. I call.

The flop is Q66 and she leads out for $3k.

And I just ship the $5500 thinking, "what are the odds? " In the moment, I felt I was unlucky there. But I really wasn't. I felt that way because I saw the hands.

Thinking about it NOW, what does she have here? She put in a standard raise, despite a short stack. If she raises all in and does not get called, she adds $600 to her stack of $7600. Not bad... But not necessary if M is between 10-11. Its very gray.

But what hand leads out there? I think a Q checks there. I really do. So I expect that a PAIR or AK leads out only. BUT if you are willing to BET on a missed flop with AK, you should have shipped it pre-flop with that stack size.... So, I am looking at a pair between say 55-AA. and I have 88. Sure, sometimes I can see 77 there. So, the entire time I am probably behind a hand like 99 or JJ.

Yet, I let two things cloud my judgement. "It's hard to make a pair in this game" and "she has a short stack". Neither of which really apply to a LEAD BET on this flop.

In my defense, I think it was a misread of her playing the hand poorly with a small pair. I was WAY off and she tabled AQ. I was floored and in retrospect she played the hand in such a way that she should not have gotten paid off. Yet there I was, counting out 1/2 my stack.

I never really recovered at the blinds quickly jumped to 400/800 and then at 500/1000 with my $7k stack I had to resort to stealing. When your 6 handed, 9dTd is a great steal hand because it hard to run into monsters and rare to run into A9 or AT so you are always live if called. But this time I run into KK and I finish 13/28... which SUCKS.

Still, I know I am not awful. Early in the night, I flopped middle pair and peeled another card vs. some running an aggro line. When he let me get to the river and a 3rd diamond fell, I think I am beat so I turn middle pair into a bluff and bet out. Top pair folds. Good spot to do that, and just a decent play. The comment that "I must beat top pair because I wasn't good enough to turn my hand into a bluff" was both amusing and mildly insulting. But it did speak to my image in some ways. When I do pick a spot to run a bluff, its because it makes sense.