November 12, 2009

Isildur1 vs. durrrr

There was some sicko poker going on over the last few days, but it wasn't at the ME. As we all know and have said many times here at Spritpot, tourneys are for donks and lucksacks. I did listen to a lot of the ME live on internet radio. The funniest part was listening to Hellmuth. How does this guy ever win? His "pupil" Jeff Shulman played terribly IMHO, much of it probably due to Hellmuth's advice. The retardo 4-5x raises? Phil's justification: "so they can't set mine against you." ROR! It was funny to listen to the Sebok/ZeeJustin team try their hardest not to ridicule him on live radio. Anyway, Shulman eventually lost all his chips on a suckout, so I'm sure Phil thinks that he gave Shulman great advice and he just got unlucky.

Anyway, the real show in poker was the Isildur1 vs. durrrr matchup on FTP. Everybody knows that durrrr is Tom Dwan, but there's been debate on who Isildur1 is. There seems to be the most consensus on some guy named Robert Flink, but I don't know much more about him. Aside from the fact that he RAPED durrrr over about 20k hands at 500/1000 NLHE for over $3m. Sunday and Monday durrrr dropped about $1m each day. Sunday he got in a big hole early, climbed all the way back to a win, then gave it all back, part of it in a short PLO session. Tuesday he started off running hot, at one point up nearly $2m between 6-tabling Isildur1 at NLHE and 2-tabling Ziigmund at 500/1000k PLO (yes, he really is that sick - 8-tabling HU vs. two of the best in the world for insane stakes).

We all know durrrr is a sicko degen. Which is why you gotta be amazed at Isildur1 - even durrrr had to chat in at one point vs. Isildur1, "ur quite a sicko". What else can you say when two guys can get all-in on the turn for 300k each with a pair of sixes vs. a pair of sevens?

How is Isildur1 pwning durrrr? He is certainly SICKO aggro postflop. But you can't just mash pot every time and expect to beat durrrr. There are two main ways I think durrrr was leaking. Obviously, this is my humble opinion. I'll never be as good as durrrr, and don't think this means I want to play him HU or anything like that. Just my opinion, after watching a lot of the hands between the two.

1: durrrr folding in big pots on the river

Durrrr is quite loose, but is actually not that aggressive on flops and turns. He likes to get deep into a hand and play a lot of rivers, but he likes to call down pretty light on earlier streets. This got him into trouble vs. Isildur1 who, particularly early in the match, was overbetting pretty much every river, and Dwan had to fold most of the time. Durrrr did adjust, partly by slowplaying some big hands and letting Isildur1 bet into the nuts, and partly by making some really big thin calldowns. This might convince some opponents to slow down, but Isildur1 managed to adjust very well by making some thin river value bets with anything from top pair no kicker to third pair to combat durrrr calling down light, and also checking back some pretty strong hands on the river when durrrr was slowplaying.

I think against a very good, aggressive player, you're just not going to be winning in the long run when they have the betting lead and you're getting to a river with a range of weak made hands, a few slowplayed monsters, and no idea what they have (check out the second game theory video I did on CR for more explanation). Especially out of position, which was the situation for durrrr a lot in this match. Occasionally he would make some sick hand on the turn or river and get a lot of value. But he was getting into these kinds of situations on the river so often after calling down light on earlier streets. Watching the match, there were so many times watching where you had $120k in the middle on the river and you were just waiting for the $160k bet from Isildur1 and a fold from durrrr.

2: durrrr underestimating Isildur1's pre-flop 4-betting range

Both these players are insanely aggro preflop and durrrr was 3-betting quite a bit, so of course Isildur1 is 4-bet bluffing sometimes, but I think durrrr went way too crazy with the 5-bet bluffing. Maybe he just was unlucky in running into a lot of monsters, but...he sure did run into a lot of them. When he wasn't 5-bet bluffing, he was often calling 4-bets out of position with J8o and J9o and then stacking off with top pair, which usually wasn't good. I think durrrr was a little off in not seeing how strong Isildur1's 4-betting range preflop was and not adjusting by giving him a little more credit and just folding to them preflop. Isildur1 wasn't immune from this either though, as this sick hand shows. And this one.

Anyway, it's been great theater so I hope these two continue to go at it. Durrrr was having to split stacks a lot in order to keep playing because he didn't really have enough money in his account to keep 6-tabling all the time, especially after losing a couple million the first couple of days. But this will probably change as durrrr will transfer in some massive amount and play Isildur1 until one of them is broke. Call me a fanboy, but I'm rooting for durrrr.


November 11, 2009

ESPN's WSOP Main Event Coverage

WOW is all I have to say. Talk about some bad TV...we got to see roughly one hand per commercial break and the hands we did see - about 95% of them were preflop all ins. I don't really watch that much poker on TV these days other than HSP...but boy this was downright terrible. Unless you are interested in seeing suckouts/badbeats/Joe Cada run like GOD - this was incredibly terrible coverage. I'm not kidding you when I say that the most entertainment I got from that 2.5 hrs was the clips they had of Humphrys, Ivey's elderly superfans. The husband was wearing a button the size of a watermelon with a picture of Ivey...HILARIOUS.

I had not watched the FT at the ME for several years...but this year I had to check it out - the one and only PHILLIP HORATIO IVEY was somehow able to navigate through the minefield of 6k+ players and make it to the final 9. I can't imagine what a boost the ESPN ratings got since he made it to the FT. We are all just playing in his lil world of poker...where he is a god amongst men.

There were literally ZERO interesting hands that played out - aside from Joe Cada's insane ability to flop sets, Darvin Moon's desire to bloat pots out of position with no pair/no really didn't get much value. The only interesting hand I took note of was the A9dd vs 77 where Ivey xc'd the flop, turn was xx, Ivey led the river after his draw bricked off.

Does anyone have any info about the hand where Darvin Moon xr bluffed a flop with KQ high and then folded to a 3b shove getting like 400-1? He went back to his wife and told her that he had QUEENS. Either a) he misread his hand...which I highly doubt because there is no way he would have folded or b) he just decided to lie to his wife on national TV. Did he not think she was going to going to see the coverage?

So while the FT ME coverage was shit...if you want to get your fix on some high stakes action - check out the action running on Full Tilt lately. Durrr has been battling a Sweedish action junkie by the name who goes by Isildur1 at MANY A TABLE of 500/1k. These guys have been putting in some MARATHON sessions and the only thing that has slowed the action has been Durrr's apparent liquidity problems - which he has been working on since he's been getting pretty tuned up by this new Nordic phenom. I think Bruechips will be posting later this week about this high stakes bloodbath - stay tuned.

Congrats to Joe Cada...I'm especially glad that he took it down for one very special reason. With him eclipsing Eastgates record last year for the youngest person ever to win the Phil Helmuth is officially something like the 172nd youngest person ever to win the ME. LOL. Yer still the greatest Phil...I'm sure you have at least 11 more bracelets coming your way. Make that a double LOL.


November 9, 2009

A Case of the Mondays (Part 10)

People-watch right from your desktop:


November 5, 2009


Top pair is one of the more difficult hands to play in a full ring game of Hold 'Em. Obviously it's a pretty good hand, much better than average, but every time you get a bunch of money in with it, doesn't it seem like things don't work out to well?

Most small-stakes full ring regulars resort to just folding top pair pretty much all the time to any pressure, regardless of the players or board texture involved. While that's probably not too costly a mistake vs. most players at those stakes, it's obviously massively exploitable. And it also misses out on a bunch of spots where top pair is truly golden, such as this one:

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players -
The Official Hand History Converter

BTN: $113.40
SB: $100.00
Hero (BB): $100.00
UTG: $41.35
UTG+1: $82.60
MP1: $76.30
MP2: $73.50
CO: $37.00

Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is BB with 8s Kd
UTG calls $1, UTG+1 calls $1, 3 folds, BTN calls $1, 1 fold, Hero checks (UTG+1 is a 54/31 total fishcake)

Flop: ($4.50) 2c 2h 8d (4 players)
Hero checks (Top pair is absolute gold almost always here. It's possible that UTG limped a hand like 99-JJ, but he only has $40 so I'm not gonna hate stacking off against him too much. It is possible UTG+1 has a 2 just because he's playing so many hands, but even for him, he's not going to have a deuce that often limping in early position. If he had open limped I might worry about QQ+ a little bit, but limping behind a limper cuts down on that. But he's very likely to overvalue a worse one pair hand on this flop. If he has 55 or an 8 with a worse kicker, he's not going anywhere. I could lead and try to get him to call down three streets, but it allows him to control pot size somewhat by just calling, and plus by check/raising instead I can get at least one bet out of his total air hands, and it makes it a little more likely he'll spaz out with something completely random...)
UTG checks, UTG+1 bets $8, (He overbets the pot! I'd expect him to do this with a deuce approximately...never. And if he does, then he deserves my $80. He's more likely to do it with some hand he thinks is probably good, but is vulnerable, like a crappy one-pair. But since he thinks it's good, we know he's not folding!)
BTN folds, Hero raises to $24, UTG folds, UTG+1 raises to $40, Hero raises to $99 all in, UTG+1 calls $41.60 all in

Turn: ($167.70) Td (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($167.70) 4d (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $167.70
Hero shows 8s Kd (two pair, Eights and Twos)
UTG+1 shows 9d 8c (two pair, Eights and Twos)
Hero wins $164.70
(Rake: $3.00)



November 2, 2009

A Case of the Mondays (Part 9)

If this doesn't start off your week right...yer pretty much hoperess. Enjoy.