Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Turbo Time! TCOOP 2012

As I'm sure you are all aware by now, the first annual TCOOP is now underway on PokerStars and offers a great opportunity for players that enjoy fast-paced tournaments to hit a big score. I've personally set aside around $1,000 worth of buy-ins to play with and enjoy turbo tournaments a lot. I've taken a look at the schedule and have circled all of the events that I'd like to play in (almost all NLHE $30-$215) but don't have any kind of schedule set in stone. As of now, I've played about half of the tournaments that I plan on playing and have airballed them all :( I can take some solace in my defeats knowing that most of my losses have come from bad beats so hopefully I can continue playing alright and pick up a few late cashes.

Turbo tournaments are a lot of fun because they're largely action packed. With the blinds increasing at a quick rate, everyone is forced into playing a short stack where 10 big blinds will often be the norm and a 20 big blind+ stack will be big. Playing a short stack can actually be quite relaxing because there aren't very many decisions that need to be made. In turbo tournaments, everyone's edge is reduced simply because shallow stacks allow for very little post-flop play. As a cash game specialist, I welcome the more levelled out playing field because I know that there are some great tournaments players out there. With that said, there is still a ton of skill needed to win a turbo need to be more aware of pre-flop ranges and push/fold strategy rather than post-flop play and sick 4-bet bluffs. It's no secret that you need to be aggressive in turbos to win...especially when your stack starts to shrink in comparison to the blinds and antes and you should be aware that other good players will be adjusting their ranges as well. Keeping that in mind, you also don't need to panic and start going all-in with any 2 cards when you fall to 10 big blinds or less. Remember that there will be so much money in the pot pre-flop from the blinds and antes alone and you will often be getting called so light that a little patience can pay off in a big way if you can find a hand.

If you haven't given turbo tournaments a chance, now would be a great time to start. The field sizes are quite big and soft and there are always a ton of satellites running if some of the buy-ins are out of your bankroll range. Hopefully you all have some fun with the TCOOP! Good luck.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The blog's back online boys!! The blog is back online...

My month long hiatus was due to what turned out to be an epic road trip down to LA as well as the PCA. I thought that I would find the time and motivation to write a bit during my travels but I just haven't until now...I've been pretty busy on several days travelling many hours and when I've had some downtime to relax by the pool, the last thing on my mind has been sitting behind my laptop.

There's so much to talk about but I'll start this post by saying that I'm happy to renew my Team Online contract for 2012 and look forward to a productive and profitable year for 2012...and by productive, I mean starting in February :). I'll detail my goals and expectations in a blog post soon after this one...I guess I can briefly say that right now I think that I'll be aiming for around 700K VPP's this year. I would in all likelihood get SNE again had PokerStars not altered the VPP allocation (which I'll also talk about in my next post) method this year.

For now I'd like to write about my road trip down to LA. The premise for the trip was to follow the Vancouver Canucks on their road trip through San Jose, Anaheim, and LA from December 26th-January 4th. I was accompanied by three great friends, two of which I had known since high school and one that I got to know very quickly.

Our driver was my good friend Jarnael. He's also my financial advisor and works for Freedom 55 Financial. Side note: *If anyone around Vancouver is interested in moving their money out of the bank and into some investments then shoot him an email at and he'll hook you up for probably no charge.* The plan was to use Jarnael's faithful GMC Yukon to drive as far as she'd take us (which we were hoping would be the whole trip!). Jarnael treats his Yukon as he would his woman...he will not let any other man on the planet drive her...except Iain. He even came up with 22 different excuses as to why I shouldn't drive at any point on the road trip before I reminded him that I only have my "N" license anyway and cannot legally drive more than 1 person. The vehicle has been on many a road trip in her lifetime and is pushing nearly 500,000 kilometers. Despite sinking thousand of dollars into her to keep her on the road, Jarnael refuses to sell or scrap the beast even with her suspect health condition. That said, I have never been on a voyage in the old Yukon that ended with me stranded on the side of the road, so while everyone was a bit nervous as to how she would fair on undoubably her most epic journey to date, there was nothing to suggest that the trip would end with a large towing bill.

Our copilot for the voyage was another long term friend of mine since high school-Iain. Iain and I have known each other forever and have been involved in many epic situations together...both good and bad. From crashing weddings to being at the hospital together, we've been together through the highs and the lows.

Rounding out the 4-wheel brothel was Iain's cousin Graham. I've only spent minimal time with Graham before the road trip but soon became extremely close to him in the figurative AND literal sense, as we were designated bed buddies on the road. Graham became a lifesaver on the road trip for many reasons because he was the only one with a data plan on his phone that would work in the USA. From enabling a GPS to checking sports scores, Graham and his phone took the trip to the next level. Undoubtedly, Graham's most beneficial contribution came when he discovered

Annnd you probably already know me...but if you don't, here's a pic just so you can put a face to the name. This is the non-creepiest pic I could find.

We were scheduled to leave on Boxing Day at 11am-a time agreed upon through compromise of my desire to sleep in and everyone else's desire to get a move on. To my own amazement, I actually woke up around 7am and figured that I must be pretty excited for the trip since the only time that I'm usually up that early is if I'm too excited to sleep or I haven't gone to bed yet! Things had been so busy for me in December that the thought of driving out of the country for a couple of weeks hadn't really set in with me yet but as I started to pack, everything was suddenly becoming real. Since I was up so early, I decided to try and eat a good breakfast and then head up to the gym to get a workout in before departure. I figured that there would be almost no chance of maintaining any kind of workout schedule on the road so some pre-trip exercise would at least hold me over for a couple of days. I was staying overnight at my parent's house because I was there for Christmas and having grown up there my whole life I knew of a gym about 5 minutes away. Unfortunately, I forgot that most things are closed on Boxing Day so I was out of luck with the gym. I came back home and shot Jarn a text telling him that I would be ready to leave earlier than 11 if he wanted and we moved up our departure time to 10. I encountered some more bad news when my dad half-jokingly asked me if I remembered my passport as he was eating breakfast and I realized that I had actually left it in Vancouver. Something about driving to another country and not flying must have not registered to my brain the fact that I'd be crossing a border and would obviously need my passport. One annoying drive out to Vancouver and back to the 'burbs and Jarn and Iain arrived at my house to pick me up at our original takeoff time of 11am.

I was picked up in Jarn's faithful bucket of bolts and jumped in the back while Iain held shotgun. We made our way towards Seattle and picked up Graham about 15 minutes away from the border. The boarder lineup at the Peace Arch Crossing was minimal and we had to make a snap decision about whether or not to buy New Year's Eve tickets to an event that Jarn heard about before we were hit with roaming charges. No one knew much about the event other than it was close to the Staples Center (we would be there to watch the Kings play the Cancuks on NYE) and had an open bar from 11pm-midnight. At $60 a ticket, we figured we could get enough value out of that hour of drinking alone and decided to gamble on the event and bought the tickets online. It wasn't long before we got past the border without any problems and were officially out of the country!


I'd rather break up the story into 2-3 parts rather than wait even longer to post something.

A brief poker update: I'm planning on playing 10-15 TCOOP events and have already played in 4. Unfortunately, I've managed to airball all 4 so far despite playing very well. In the first event, the $134 knockout, I encountered a dream situation where someone opened, another player 3bet, I jammed QQ from the SB and the 3bettor looked me up with 88. 8 on the turn and I was out instead of having a decent stack before the money.

In the second event that I played, the $33 NLHE, I was out very early when I held 66 in a multi-way pot on a K65 flop and got outdrawn by a runner-runner flush.

The third event, the $55 6-max shootout, was very disappointing. I woke up at 7am today just to play it and was excited to see that my first table only had 3 players at it lol. One of the players was very bad and the other was mediocre. The very bad player was out pretty quickly and I had about 8K going into heads up against my opponents stack of 6K. We traded blinds for a little bit before getting it all-in with my QQ dominating his AQ...A on the river in dramatic fashion and I was crippled. 2 hands later I was out when my K5o fell to 78o.

I didn't give myself much of a shot in the 4th event, the $22R. I went back to sleep after busting the shootout and woke up halfway through the rebuy period of the $22R. My stack had dwindled from 1000 to 400 so I instantly re-bought to 1400 and got it in with AA against KQs on the very first hand. The board ran out 3 diamonds giving them the flush and I was too frustrated and tired to rebuy to 10 big blinds so I just went back to sleep. I was kinda disappointed to see that the add-on would have given me an extra 3K though, had I known that I would have rebought I think. Oh well, gotta check the tourney info next time.

Next up tomorrow is the $10R and a $33FO, we'll see if I can fare any better.

gl at the tables! Good to be back.