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Full Tilt, Cool Gadgets, and Conflict Resolved

Poker beat out video games for my free time this weekend. I've found my game again and I'm actually enjoying poker again. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune once I start losing again but I'll enjoy the games while I can. I've got a few things to talk about today including the conclusion to the PokerTime saga, a little more about the Zune/iPod and poker training videos, and a some poker hands too!



After all that I said about PokerTime last week, things mostly worked out in the end. When I received the last e-mail from PokerTime informing me that my money was locked, I decided to try and make one last withdrawal. Instead of attempting to withdraw the bulk of my PokerTime account, I opted for a smaller sum of money.

I received confirmation from Moneybookers of a deposit from PokerTime on Saturday morning. In the end, I was reimbursed the $20 that I'd put in from my Moneybookers account along with an additional $20.

I then played some $50 NLHE with my remaining $26.13 at PokerTime. In three consecutive hands, my opponents hit their gutshot straight draws on the river and that was that. Easy come, easy go. I'm just happy to have had the opportunity to cash out some winnings before the doom switch was activated on my account.



I've decided that I'm going to purchase either a Microsoft Zune (80GB) or an Archos 605 (80 GB) (or Archos 705 (80 GB)). Why? I'd like to be able to watch poker training videos on my commute to and from work. Although the Zune is cheaper than the Archos media players, Archos' devices come with 4.3" LCD screens. Is it worth an extra $100 for a larger screen? I haven't decided yet.

I can confirm that I've decided to hold off on making any purchases until my bankroll is large enough to handle the swings of the $200 NLHE tables. I'd also like to make sure that I'm going to stick with poker before making any large purchases. When I forked out a wad of cash for my laptop back in March, I stopped playing poker within 3 weeks of my purchase. If I can avoid that same scenario again, I'll be happy.

If my win rate over my last 10,000 hands is any indication, I'll have to put in at least 20,000 hands before I'm ready to make a purchase. That's quite a few hands. Hopefully online poker will still exist by the time I'm ready to hit Best Buy...



I've been playing at Full Tilt almost exclusively over the past week. I never really gave FTP a chance until recently. So far, I'm finding the games to be pretty good. Not quite as many fishy players as there are at PokerStars but still good. And I have to say that the rakeback is nice as well (via RakeTheRake).

The only downside to earning rakeback is that any Full Tilt points that I earn are useless to me. Any points spent come out of my rakeback earned (past, present, and future); this precludes me from buying anything from the FT store, trying for Iron Man status, or even playing any freerolls (other than the $22.5K RakeTheRake monthly freeroll). Full Tilt is a little tight with their rakeback players. But with rakeback accounting for an extra 2-3 BB/100, I can't fault Full Tilt for their policies.

UPDATE: cmitch was kind enough to clarify how Full Tilt handles freerolls, bonuses, and other promotions for rakeback players:
This isn't correct. Those things don't come out of your rakeback at $1 for $1. They reduce your MGR (monthly gross rake) by the value, so in effect you are paying 27% of the actual cost of items from the FTP store and you are paying 27% of your value in the freerolls. The iron man store is a little different - purchasing tokens does not effect your rakeback at all, but purchasing bonuses does.

Example 1 - I am saving up for the 42" plasma, it is 370k ftps. FTP deducts $0.005/point from your MGR when you purchase an item in their store, so they value the 42" plasma at $1,850 (370k x $0.005) including shipping. $499.50 ($1,850 x 27%) will be deducted from my rakeback after I purchase the TV.

Example 2 - $10k freeroll that has 100 players. Your value in the freeroll is $100, so that is deducted from your MGR. You will then receive $27 ($100 x 27%) less RB, so you are still getting to enter a tourney for 27% of the price of a normal tourney.
Thanks go out to cmitch for clarifying this matter for me and my readers looking for rakeback at Full Tilt! And I guess I can safely opt-in for the Iron Man promotion now!

Speaking of Full Tilt, let's a take a look at some of the hands I played over the weekend.

Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
UTG: $94.70
UTG+1: $183.45
Hero (CO): $149.15
Button: $110.70
SB: $57.15
Villain (BB): $59.45

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is CO with K♣ K♠
2 folds, Hero raises to $4, 2 folds, Villain calls.

(No solid reads on Villain. Seemed to play a standard game.)

Flop: 8♥ 4♦ 7♥ ($8.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $7, Villain calls.

Turn: 4♠ ($22.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $15, Villain calls.

(I had to bet again. No free looks at the river.)

River: K♥ ($52.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero is all-in $123.15, Villain calls all-in $33.45.
Uncalled bets: $89.7 returned to Hero.

(I was hoping that the Villain was chasing a draw. If not, maybe I get called by a weaker hand. Pot was already larger than the Villain's remaining stack so I anticipated a call.)

Results:
Final pot: $119.4
Hero showed Kc Ks
Villain mucks Ah 5h

(I don't understand Villain's call of $15 into a $37 pot on the turn. Whatever. Ship it.)


Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
UTG: $81.90
UTG+1: $77.95
Villain (CO): $117.80
Button: $182.25
Hero (SB): $126.20
BB: $113.70

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with T♠ J♠
2 folds, Villain raises to $2, Button folds, Hero calls, BB folds.

(No strong read on Villain other than "tight" given how few hands he'd played.)

Flop: J♣ 4♠ 9♠ ($5, 2 players)
Hero bets $3, Villain calls.

(Monster flop for me. I was hoping that Villain might raise my donk-bet. I had no reason to suspect a raise...but I still wanted one in much the same way as a little boy wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.)

Turn: A♣ ($11, 2 players)
Hero checks, Villain checks.

(I could have bet the turn. But I didn't want to get raised off my hand nor did I want to pay a lot with just one card to come.)

River: A♠ ($11, 2 players)
Hero bets $7, Villain raises to $20, Hero calls.

(I bet my flush for value since Villain had not shown any strength. The Villain's raise had me a little worried. Isn't there a theory in big-bet hold'em that says that all previous betting means nothing in the face of a large bet on later streets?

There were two flushes that beat me and I was losing to a set turned boat on the river. I decided against raising the Villain but I had to call. I figured that a raise on my part might only get called or raised by one of the hands that beat me. Do I belong in Vegas playing the day shift with the other rocks?)

Results:
Final pot: $51
Villain showed 5s 6s
Hero showed Ts Js

(Villain's hand really surprised me. I thought I was going to be shown either a bluff or a better hand. If the Villain had hit the flush on the river, I expected to see the K♠ or the Q♠. I guess Villain got sick of waiting for a hand and tried to mix things up a bit.

How would you have played this hand differently?)


Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.5/$1
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
Villain (UTG): $49.90
UTG+1: $196.55
CO: $199.25
Hero (Button): $100
SB: $0
BB: $72.70

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is Button with J♠ A♠
Villain calls, UTG+1 raises to $2, CO folds, Hero calls, BB calls, Villain calls.

(UTG+1 and CO were both loose donkeys. Villain had been losing pot after pot to the "lucky" UTG+1 and CO players.)

Flop: 2♠ K♠ A♦ ($8.5, 4 players)
BB checks, Villain bets $1, UTG+1 calls, Hero raises to $10, BB folds, Villain calls, UTG+1 folds.

(I love hitting monster hands in family pots! I was pretty excited to see both the Villain and UTG+1 in the pot before I got the chance to raise. Unfortunately, UTG+1 found his fold button. For the record, he was most likely going to float the Villain yet again and hope to pick up a lucky card on the later streets to bust Villain.)

Turn: 5♠ ($29.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $15, Villain calls.

(Bingo! Villain didn't have much money behind and I wanted to get him committed to the pot before another spade fell or before he lost his nerve.)

River: 9♦ ($59.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $20, Villain calls.

(Villain had $22 behind so I bet $20, assuming that the Villain would push his last $2 into the pot. I should have just bet $25. Pretty stupid of me to leave $2 sitting there.)

Results:
Final pot: $99.5
Hero showed Js As
Villain mucks Kd 5h

(As you can see, Villain was clearly on tilt. K5o?! Ouch.)




I'll be back at Full Tilt tonight continuing to grind my bankroll back up to respectability. Hopefully I'll find a couple hands worth discussing.

Have a great day everyone!

2 comments:

cmitch said...

"The only downside to earning rakeback is that any Full Tilt points that I earn are useless to me. Any points spent come out of my rakeback earned (past, present, and future); this precludes me from buying anything from the FT store, trying for Iron Man status, or even playing any freerolls"

This isn't correct. Those things don't come out of your rakeback at $1 for $1. They reduce your MGR (monthly gross rake) by the value, so in effect you are paying 27% of the actual cost of items from the FTP store and you are paying 27% of your value in the freerolls. The iron man store is a little different - purchasing tokens does not effect your rakeback at all, but purchasing bonuses does.

Example 1 - I am saving up for the 42" plasma, it is 370k ftps. FTP deducts $0.005/point from your MGR when you purchase an item in their store, so they value the 42" plasma at $1,850 (370k x $0.005) including shipping. $499.50 ($1,850 x 27%) will be deducted from my rakeback after I purchase the TV.

Example 2 - $10k freeroll that has 100 players. Your value in the freeroll is $100, so that is deducted from your MGR. You will then receive $27 ($100 x 27%) less RB, so you are still getting to enter a tourney for 27% of the price of a normal tourney.

Klopzi said...

cmitch -

Thanks for the clarification. I got a little confused by all the legalese and numbers talk involved in figuring out just how much stuff comes my way.

I'm going to add this comment into the body of the post so that others aren't disheartened by my ignorance of the true facts regarding rakeback at Full Tilt.

Great stuff! Thanks.