Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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FTP Update - Mostly Good/Some Bad

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First the bad:

FTP added ring game filters as a step in the process of adding filters for cash games. This sounded good until I opened the FTP software and went to the cash game lobby. The update moved all deep stack cash game tables to the bottom of the 100BB max buy-in. They were previously mixed in with the 100BB tables and the group of table was sorted by number of available seats/number of people on waiting list. The best thing about the deep tables is the min buy-in is 50BB vs. 20BB for the 100BB tables. You don't have to worry about playing against a table full of short stackers.

I encourage everyone to email FTP and let them know that you don't like this change and to please inter-mix the 100bb and 200bb tables.

Below is a lit of updates from the 2+2 FTP Answers 4/28 thread:

A. Blinds + Antes games - No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha with antes! Limited to higher stakes only for now, but it should work down to the lower limits in the coming weeks. - This could be awesome. I'll post more about this once they add them to the lower limits.

B. Ring Game Lobby Icons - No, it's not ring game filters. It is, however, a step closer to that goal (some of the plumbing that is needed for filters is now done because of this feature). For now, you can sort by ring game type better than you could before. For example, Deep tables used to be mixed in with normal tables, and now if you sort by "Type" they are separated. - Good idea. Bad implementation. (see above)

C. Synchronized Breaks - Basically, every multi table tournament in the game will now start going on break at :55 past every hour. The tournament clock will stop, the current hand will finish, and then the 5 minute break will start. This means that the actual restart of all tournaments will be slightly staggered (since the tournament with more players take longer to finish that final hand before the break than the tournaments with fewer players) but most people will have a good 5 minute break now no matter how many multi-table tournaments they're playing. - AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!! AWESOME!!!

You can find more details here:

As a side note (since I know it will come up), when I asked the developers what it would take to implement this feature after seeing all the requests and threads about it, I was surprised to learn that it was a pretty easy thing for our system. It took one server programmer to fully implement, and he is in no way associated with either ring game filters or security features.

D. Improved Network Communication - Even though this isn't a "feature" that you can see when you log in, this is probably the thing that will make the biggest difference in everyone's day to day playing experience. Basically, the way the game client communicates with the server has been completely re-written. It's easiest to notice the difference when you flip back and forth between, say, the Hold'em and Omaha lobbies or when you open a very large tournament like the Double Deuce. What used to take an annoyingly long time is now much faster. The worse your internet connection is, the more of a difference you'll notice. - Jury out....but anything to reduce the lag is great!!!

This was a very large project and has been a long time coming (I could do the way-back-machine thing again and show you where I was talking about it, but that'd just be embarrassing). I hope anyone who has experienced any kind of "network lag" when it didn't seem like it was their connection gives it another go to see how it behaves now.

E. Anti-Ratholing in Limit Games - The same check we've always had for NL games is now being applied to limit games. If you leave a game with more than the minimum buyin, you can't re-join the game with less than that amount within 30 minutes (or 30 hands, whichever comes sooner). - Very good news

WSOP Dates Booked!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I haven't booked a flight yet, but I just booked my room at the Rio for the WSOP

Check-in Date: June 14
Check-Out Date: June 21

Leave me a comment or send me an email at cmitchpoker(at) if you are going to be in LV during that time and want to meet up.


Monday, April 20, 2009

So, the plan starting at the beginning of the month was:

1. 5k hands of 200nl full ring - 2 tables max
2. 5k hands of 200nl full ring - 3 tables max
3. 5k-10k hands of 200nl full - 4 tables max

I haven't gotten nearly as many hours in so far as I would have liked - mainly due to being out of town Easter weekend for my sister's wedding and playing most of the BBT4 events this month. There have also been a lot of nights that I either called it quits early or didn't play cash games because I knew that I wouldn't being playing my "A" game. I have been working a lot (which is a good thing) and by the time I get home I'm often too tired/worn out to put in the kind of focus that I need.

Currently, I have only played 3,686 hands and am up $602 (4 ptbb/100).

I got off to a great start and was sitting at +$990 around the 2k hand mark, then variance caught up. I had a session where I lost a little less than 4 buy-ins - mostly coolers and bad beats with prob 1 buy-in worth of spewing thrown in. The spew wouldn't have been a spew under most circumstances but in hindsight it was a spew because of my table image and the player. I had some really aggro stats and had lost 2 buy-ins at that table. I bluffed after river card that made four to a straight and was called by what I knew was an overpair. If I had analyzed the situation a little better, I wouldn't have been bluffing that player in that situation. I guess that is why you review your sessions so it doesn't happen again.

I have found myself getting bored and losing focus while playing two tables. Hopefully, I finish the first 5k hands before the weekend and can move on to 3 tables.

UFC Bad Beat

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I watched the UFC PPV fight last night and I think it sucks that the UFC dropped and banned fighters from wearing FTP logos. When I first heard about it, it made sense. They were dropping FTP as a sponser because UFC is getting bigger and bigger and they don't need the heat of being associated with a site that some govt officials may consider illegal. Surely that was the case, right? WRONG!!! They dropped FTP to pick up a much more reputable sponser UltimateBet. Just leaves me shaking my head.

FL one step closer to good NL Games

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I ran across this on the Ante Up Blog today (pay particular attention to the bold items):

Josh Hafenbrack of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the Florida House has unveiled its gambling plan … and its great news for Florida poker players.

A bill working its way through the Florida Senate essentially lifts most restrictions on gambling in Florida, including limits on poker bets, buy-ins and tournament entries. But few people expected the conservative House to allow anything more than the bare minimum in order to reach a compact with the Seminole Tribe.

However, the plan Hafenrack says was unveiled Wednesday does much more than for the state’s rounders. It raises bet limits to $50, raises the buy-in for no-limit Texas Hold’em to $1,000, allows poker rooms to remain open 24 hours a day and allows quarterhorse tracks to offer thoroughbred racing and open poker rooms. The House plan also lowers taxes on slot machines and licensing fees.

The House plan is actually more generous than the Senate’s on hours of operation. The Senate allows for 18 hours a day, and 24 hours on weekends and holidays. But most poker room managers Ante Up have talked with say they’d be unlikely to deal for 24 hours except on weekends, so essentially the difference is minimal.

Nothing is guaranteed in the Legislature, of course, but it appears the House has set the bottom of its bar high enough to appease most Florida poker players, and any negotiation should be likely to raise that bar.

Huge!! Huge!! Huge!! NL games with $1k max buy-ins instead of the current $100 max and $25/$50 limit games. I hope this happens and happens soon. The games will be so incredibly juicy.

Being Self Aware while playing

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

After a horrible 2008 and a 25k hand break even stretch in cash games over the first couple of months of 2009, I have taken a step back and really tried to analyze my game and make some changes.

I started thinking more about the areas of my game that don't involve call, bet, raise, or fold. The catalyst to me making some changes came about a month ago when I first heard Tommy Angelo on the Deuces Cracked podcast. I was driving back from the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. I left after taking a few bad beats in a row in the 2/5 $100 max buy-in game. Quitting the game and leaving wasn't as hard as it usually is when I'm down. I had accepted that I was playing a low max buy-in, high variance game. I played well and got my money in good, but wound up losing. I realized that sometimes that is just how things go and I have a huge edge in the long run against those players.

On the ride home, I fired up the Deuces Cracked podcast and listened intently on my 1 hour drive home without any distractions. I think that I happened to be in the exact right frame of mind to listen to Tommy Angelo for the first time. Over the next week or so, I listened to part 2 of the podcast and the 2+2 podcast interview with him from several months ago. I couldn't get enough of what he was saying and it has helped me to start to make some changes.

I decided to set some strict guidelines for myself starting at the beginning of April and have developed an initial plan without any specific time frame or monetary goals. While doing this I'm also hoping to find the right balance between number of tables and hourly rate for me.

So here is plan:

Cash Games
1. Play no more than 2 tables of full ring $200 NL cash games at the same time for 5,000 hands.
2. After completing 2 tables of 5k hands, play no more than 3 tables of full ring $200 NL cash games at the same time for 5,000 hands.
3. After completing 3 tables of 5k hands, play no more than 4 tables of full ring $200 NL cash games at the same time for 5,000 hands. (may increase the number of hands here to get a comparable hourly rate.)
4. I'm not sure, but I may also try this for 6 tables, but probably not. I think that I have already made up my mind that six tables only works for me in short sessions.

I realize 15k-20k hands isn't going to really tell me much, but one of the reasons that I am doing this is to keep myself disciplined. I am not going to let myself play any additional tables or any higher stakes during this period.

1. No more than two tables at the same time.
2. No tourney over $100 unless using T$ that I won specifically for the tourney that I am going to play.

What I'm doing differently that has seemed to help so far:

1. Forcing myself to quit or sit out for a few minutes whenever I feel like I made a mistake and after taking a bad beat.
2. Hitting the time bank button and waiting at least until my time starts counting down before making a big decision.
3. Asking myself what my plan is every time before I make a call OOP, especially asking myself if a flat call OOP is +EV or -EV in the particular situation against the particular player.
4. Taking notes more often and more detailed notes. (a lot easier right now while playing only 2 tables)
5. Paying more attention to how others are playing when not involved in a hand (and take notes on their play - see above)
6. Leaving tables that don't have any fish.
7. Leaving tables when some tough aggressive players are sitting to my left.
8. Sometimes deciding to quit when ahead to book a win if I would be quitting relatively soon anyway.
9. Making the decision not play by asking myself before starting a session if I really think I can play my "A game" right now.
10. Not sitting at tables with more than 2 short stacks unless there is a huge fish at the table.

Hopefully, being more self aware while playing will revitalize my game. It can't hurt.

This can make you tilt

Friday, April 03, 2009

literally on the bubble in the 50/50 just after I took a beat