Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Online Poker and the GOLDSTAR approach to wellroundedness

So I haven't posted for a while. True, but then again I haven't played too much live poker in a while either. One could say they go hand in hand. Since my last diatribe I have attempted to regulate myself emotionally and rectify some of the glaring leaks in my "non-poker game" game. I apologized to the guy who I threw cards at and he was oblivious to what I was referring to. I contemplated going and finding the verbal jouster with which I fought with but having been informed by an acquaintence that he is a maniac that threatened to kill said informant, I opted away from socializing with him altogether.

As far as live poker goes, I played once this week at the Hustler and posted a nice $1200 profit (its been way too long) and I met my sister, robert and his family in vegas last weekend and played a little NLHE and O8 but still came out down about $200 due to a bad play at Green Valley Ranch. The majority of my recent poker activities has been online. For the past month and a half I have been playing pretty regularly on PokerStars. I don't play NLHE at all online for various reasons but I do play almost every other game. Online play is being used to practice and refine all my skills in Omaha 8 or better, 7 card Stud, 7 card stud 8 or better, Razz, H.O.R.S.E, Pot Limit Omaha 8 or bettor, Pot Limit Omaha High, and to a degree Limit Hold'em. I do play NLHE in tournaments online and I can say without a doubt that although the majority of these tournaments are crapshoots they have some massive overlays and are a great opportunity to make some money if you fade some idiots taking every longshot at you.

I must admit though that I am becoming addicted to the FPP system. Its pretty ridiculous to be playing 50% for the money and 50% to accumulate Frequent Player Points. But the allure of prizes is really much more tempting then their actual value. For instance, one of my goals is to hit 40,000 FPPs to get an Xbox 360 Elite console. Now after 1 1/2 months of playing online I have reached about 9000 FPPs so at the rate im going (now that I have reached GOLDSTAR, more on that later) I should be able to reach in 40K in 2-3 months. The thing itself is only worth around $400. Now I am sure you can appreciate the colossal inefficiency of this pursuit but somehow the idea of directly getting a prize for "free" rather than taking $400 of my own money and going out to buy it is too tempting. Yes, you could argue that it is merely a bonus to the money I am making online. Unfortunately, I am still playing fairly low stakes to what I am compared to and since most of these games are not my forte (although I am rapidly improving) I am still only slightly better than breakeven online. I started with $500 on Pokerstars, sold off about $120 and am currently sitting at about $540 for a profit of about $160 over the past month and half. Depressing, isn't it?

On the bright side though, I am reached Gold Star Status. Which just means that I have played 4000+ raked hands in a month. Its not that big of a deal except for the fact that you get an accelerated rate of return on your FPPs. I started out as a Bronze Star which gives 1:1 on FPPs for VPPs or raked hands, then last month I progressed to Silver Star which gave 1.5:1 on FPPs, and now as of a few days ago I managed to hit Gold Star which now gives 2:1 on FPPs. So on my meaningless and time wasting FPPS quest I am moving right along. Some other FPP goals outside of the Xbox is a 270K 60in plasma High Def TV or a 3 million FPP Porshe. Needless to say these latter two goals will take much much longer. The next FPP step (and highest) is Platinum Star which pays 2.5:1 on FPPs but also required 10,000 VPPs in one month which is asking quite a lot. If you can hit 100,000 VPPs in one year you become a Supernova which pays 3:1 on FPPs and if you are insane enough and socially inept enough to somehow obtain 1,000,000 VPPs in one year then you can become a Supernova Elite which pays 3.5:1 on FPPs along with some other perks. I don't intend or expect to ever be a Supernova Elite as that would require putting in about 40-50 hours a week for a whole year multitabling about 4+ tables that get raked almost every hand. Needless to say, this honor is bestowed on only the most dedicated of online poker professionals. It might be nice to maybe become Supernova next year ( no chance this year as I just started) and maybe to hit Platinum Star a few times. All pessimism aside, though, I have found numerous opportunites to make money in the ring games online as low as 1/2 limit games. If you multitable 3-4 tables and know your games well then you can make anywhere from $10-$20 per table per hour which equates to $30-$80 an hour on a good day. 40 hrs a week for a year at that rate will net you anywhere from $60K to $150K, plus of course the FPPs :).

Anyway, enough BSing about online poker. I am probably going to play at the Hustler in an hour or two and grind out some bankroll building cash. My depleted bankroll has caused me to move down for a little while to smaller limits. I played the $100-$300 buyin 2/5 blinds at Hustler a few days ago and posted a nice $1200 profit as I said earlier. Besides being a nice establishment with a horrible clientele, the Hustler has a lower rake then Commerce, better food (although its not comped) and a player's card. Plus, the players at Hustler are all passive and let you know when they have a big hand so although the pots are generally smaller then other places unless you are building it, you have much more control and therefore less risk. The key at this type of establishment is realizing when your opponent is strong enough to call a bet and when they made some bs catch like 2 pair on the river and not betting it. It boils down to essentially refinded value betting combined with patience. There is no running over these tables because you have very little fold equity unless you have shown monsters. It takes alot of the weapons away from a competant poker player but greatly enhances the remaining ones, namely starting hand selection and value betting.

Until Next Time

P.s. Oh and if you want to play with me on POKERSTARS my screenname is TheNewMath.


Jody said...

I don't know what half of what u wrote meant but it was highly entertaining to read nonetheless in terms of what I did get... I'm guessing lucky stupid people REALLY piss you off, huh?

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