You see, I was given a wonderful gift by the fates. Because my profile did not in any way indicate that I was the Fox News reporter, I was only contacted by the most clueless twitter users. Anyone with half a brain, or any internet savvy, would realize that I wasn’t him from my twitter profile, description, or recent tweet. So I got the most gullible, angry, lost twitter users and almost all of them were ultra-conservative.
Since the start of campaign season these random tweets have increased significantly. In the last two weeks they have increased at least ten fold because the other Chris Wallace (no not Biggie) will be moderating the final presidential debate. This was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. Allow me take you on a guided tour of some of my favorite moments so far.
I will have to skip the Senior’s event for a few more years, but the green chip bounty at Turtle Lake should be a ton of fun and the main event features a $320+30 buy-in which is remarkably low rake for a tournament of this size. The cash games should be great all week with $2/5 no-limit and PLO expected to run all weekend. I’m really looking forward to this event and I think it is a tremendous value.
The event features a $100,000 guarantee for a $285 buy-in. The last time we were in Council Bluffs we set a state record and with six starting flights we should crush this guarantee for a huge prize pool. My favorite feature of this event, other than the gold ring for the winner, is the $1,000 stack buy back. Let’s talk about how it works.
You can play as many flights as you like. I will probably play at least four. If you get through to day two more than once, you get $1,000 for each time you make it to day two after the first time. Your largest stack will go forward to day two, so if you have a short stack it is incredibly profitable to play again. If you bag a big stack your first time through, you can play future flights as if they are cash satellites. This makes it easier to get a short stack through because your opponents are all trying to build a pile of chips while you are just grinding to get through the day and make $1,000.
The last time we went to Council Bluffs, team pro Aaron Johnson managed to bag all four flights and make $3,000 in buybacks for his efforts. Aaron even wrote an article on playing these events. With the right strategy these events can be very profitable. Read Aaron’s article HERE.
“You are a world champion Chris. And I love you. Look at that shiny gold bracelet. You have proven yourself. You can do this. You’re going to be rich and famous. Everyone loves you and they will love you even more. You have nothing to worry about.”
As I think we both know now, this was bullshit. Sure, I’ve made money over my career. But you always convince me that it will be more consistent. That the next victory is right around the corner. Every time you hand a victory to some idiot that I know can’t play at all, I’m convinced that I must have another one coming any day now. Every time a friend wins and I celebrate their victory, I think that I must be next.
And then you forsake me again. This time for an entire summer. I played my ass off this year and you were nowhere to be found. You bailed on me again. All your promises were just so much pillow talk. You miserable, lying, cheating, tramp. I had people depending on me.
This wasn’t even my money. I sold a ton of action this year. And now I feel like I let those people down. Sure, I did my best. And I know, variance is huge in tournament poker. But that doesn’t make me feel any better. You better straighten out your act poker, or we are done. I’m not kidding this time.
Please call me. I miss you. I miss winning. We were so good together.
Total Cashes for the Investment Package – $7,352.
I skipped the Wynn Main Event, so I have $1,600 left. I’ll be playing every flight of the $100k iNinja event in Council Bluffs, Iowa at the end of the month which will cover the rest of the package money. It’s a much better investment anyway with a much softer field and much better shot at making us a profit. Checks will be sent out in a few weeks when I get back to Minnesota.
I hate losing other people’s ,money so much more than losing my own that I’m considering a few different approaches to future tournament play. I may find a full time backer or sell investment packages for an entire year like an investment fund. This would cut down variance drastically. It would certainly still be possible to lose money, but there would be a much more consistent return and much lower chance of a total loss. I will let you all know what I decide.]]>
|WSoP Dealer’s Choice||6/5/2016||3:00 PM||$1,500|
|WSoP HORSE||6/7/2016||11:00 AM||$1,500|
|WSoP Razz||6/9/2016||11:00 AM||$1,500|
|WSoP HORSE||6/12/2016||3:00 PM||$3,000|
|iNinja 250k (2 entries)||6/13/2016||4:00 PM||$800|
|WSoP HORSE||6/15/2016||3:00 PM||$10,000|
|Wynn NLHE||6/17/2016||7:30 PM||$1,100|
|WSoP NLHE||6/18/2016||11:00 AM||$1,500|
|Binion’s HORSE||6/20/2016||12:00 PM||$400|
|WSoP 90 minute blinds||6/20/2016||11:00 AM||$1,500|
|Wynn NLHE||6/21/2016||12:00 PM||$400|
|Wynn NLHE||6/22/2016||12:00 PM||$400|
|WSoP Monster Stack||6/24/2016||11:00 AM||$1,500|
|Planet Hollywood Turbo||6/25/2016||3:00 PM||$350|
|Planet Hollywood Goliath||6/27/2016||4:00 PM||$350|
|Planet Hollywood Goliath||6/28/2016||5:00 PM||$350|
|WSoP Crazy 8s||7/1/2016||3:00 PM||$888|
|WSoP Turbo||7/4/2016||11:00 AM||$1,000|
|Wynn 250k||7/8/2016||12:00 PM||$600|
|WSoP Main Event||7/10/2016||11:00 AM||$10,000|
|WSoP Little Drop||7/14/2016||3:00 PM||$1,111|
|Wynn Main Event||7/17/2016||12:00 PM||$1,600|
The Quick and Dirty Basics
Beating a home game, small buy-in tournament, or even the lowest level cash games in a casino, doesn’t require a complicated skill set or in-depth thought process. While those things can increase your win rate, the vast majority of your profit will come from playing solid poker while your opponents make mistakes. If you make less mistakes, you will win the money more often.
The following basic tips will help you avoid making big mistakes.
Raise or Fold – In many cases, especially before the flop, if your hand is not good enough to raise, you should fold. Calling should be your last option and used only when it obviously correct. For most new players, calling and checking, the passive plays, are the default. Passive plays should be the last option rather than the first.
Tight is Right – There are times to play a lot of hands and be loose and aggressive. They are not usually in very soft games and they are never when you are new to the game. Being patient and playing tight is the best default approach until you know when, why, and how to play more hands.
Be a Believer -When someone makes a play that indicates they have a big hand, your default should be to believe them. You can start making what we call “hero calls” when you are sure that you are right, have the knowledge to accurately assess their range of hands, and can accurately explain how often you will win the hand based on their range.
Position, Position, Position – I have worked with hundreds of students over the years. None of them have been positional enough. Not one. You should be playing at least five times as many hands on the button as you would play under the gun. Play Ace-Five suited under the gun only if you hate money.
Don’t Slow Play – If you have a monster, bet it like you would any hand. If they fold you weren’t going to make much anyway, but if you let them get away from their hand cheaply when you could have won a big pot by betting every chance you got, you have cost yourself a lot of money.
Don’t Bluff Constantly – The greatest players are very aggressive, but so are the worst players. Bluff when you have a good reason. Many soft games can be beaten without bluffing at all and sometimes you just can’t win a hand and have to let it go without bluffing off a stack of chips in a bad spot.
Don’t Get Married (to a hand) – Your hand is only strong in relation to what you think your opponent has. If you have two black aces, the flop is 567 with three diamonds, and you are facing a bet and a raise, just throw them away and move on to the next hand.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or on twitter @foxpokerfox if you have questions or want more information.]]>
Planet Hollywood Goliath Series
Golden Nugget Grand Series
Venetian Deep Stacks
Binion’s Poker Classic
The Everything Spreadsheet
The Aria will be having a summer series along with the High Roller and WPT500 events, but I have not been able to find a link to the schedule, though it is in the spreadsheet above. If you find a link to the Aria schedule for the whole series please send it and I’ll update this post.
The Friday night tournament at The Orleans always draws a huge field, and most of them are recreational players without a lot of knowledge about the game. The field was 191 last night, with first place approaching $4,700.
My starting table was very soft, with lots of players calling raises but unwilling to risk their tournament life. Half an hour after I sat down, I limped under the gun, something I would rarely do in a bigger buy-in tournament with stronger players, at the 150/300 level with a 10k stack. The player to my immediate left raised to 800 and five players behind him called.
The raise to less than 3x after a limper usually doesn’t indicate a ton of strength. Recreational players will usually make a play like this to limit the field with a medium strength hand when they don’t know how to handle a six way flop with something like AJ or KQ or 99. The players calling behind him are not likely to have a big hand either since they know the flop will be multi-way if they don’t reraise.
With over 4,000 in the pot, a lot of fold equity with a 10k stack, and a hand that plays fairly well all-in, it looked like a good spot to steal by going all-in. And it almost worked. The button had called the 800 with AQo for some strange reason, and he called my all-in. I made a pair and he didn’t, and I stacked 25,000 chips while he was left with just a few thousand.
We can debate my play. Maybe a call was safer and smarter. For 500 chips I had a chance to win a big pot and the downside was very small. But there is no doubt that my play was well thought out and very likely to work by either winning without a showdown or getting the pot heads up with a chance to win and an extra 4,000 in the middle.
My opponent did not agree. He made multiple comments about how I was obviously a gambler and noted that my play was terrible and made no sense. I agreed, told him that I play for fun and that it’s all a gamble anyway. His reply?
“For guys like you it is.”
Ah, I remember those days. When I was first learning a little poker strategy and wanted to show off my knowledge and let everyone know that I was serious about poker. I was never as rude to a bad player as he was to me, but I certainly had that attitude those first few months. And I’m sure that I saw plays that I didn’t understand. I hope I didn’t comment on them.
When I posted this exchange on twitter, multiple followers suggested I pull out my bracelet to shut him up. But why would I do that? I never mentioned a word about being a poker pro. Throughout the tournament I ran into two more players who told me how terrible I was and I stuck with my story. I play poker for fun and play my cards however I want. It’s all a gamble anyway right?
Because of the bracelet, I don’t need to tell anyone anything about how good I am. I know how good I am. I have a bracelet and more importantly I have 13 years of playing poker for a living. I don’t need to tell any of my opponents how good I am. Let them think I’m a fish. It’s refreshing. I don’t get much of that in Minnesota or in bigger buy-in events in Vegas. But in this little tournament at The Orleans, I got to be a clueless fish for a night.
No one knew I could play, I stole a ton of pots because of it, and it took two big beats to bust me just before the final table. It was fun. It was profitable. And not a single one of my opponents has any idea who they were playing with. And I’m going to keep it that way.
So. Do you want money or respect? Because one costs a bit of the other. I have enough respect for myself, I’ll take the money. If you already have enough money, go for the respect, it’s fun too. But be conscious of the reality that they are somewhat exclusive. Proving how well you play can cost you money.]]>
Each lesson is 90 minutes long and many include extras like books, printed charts, a pair of Blue Shark Optics Glasses, and a signed copy of my book.
Total Cost of the Tournament Coaching Package: $1,650
Tournament Theory – There are some very important concepts that make tournament poker unique. We will cover ICM and ROI considerations, payout structures, chop negotiations, evaluating tournaments, rebuys and reentries, and other reasons why the payout structure of a tournament should effect your play.
Zone 3 (above 28 big blinds) – At the beginning of a tournament the cash game players will be much more comfortable than those who only play tournaments because they are so used to playing with deep stacks. Post flop play, implied odds, speculative hands, and stack to pot ratio are all key concepts for this lesson. Three-betting, bet sizing, and playing speculative hands are all covered.
Zone 2 (12 to 28 big blinds) – This lesson is very important because you will have a 12 to 28 big blind stack so frequently in tournaments and this is where most players make the biggest mistakes. We will cover resteal theory, squeeze plays, rules for three betting, and the other weapons that are available in this zone.
Zone 1 (below 12 big blinds) – With less than twelve big blinds you only have one move, but when it is correct to put all your chips in may surprise you. This lesson comes with a laminated push fold chart that covers opening all-in ranges based on position. We will also discuss calling all-in against hand ranges, handling multiple opponents and isolation raises, and how to determine which players are most likely to fold their blinds when you are very short stacked.
Making the Money – Finishing near the bubble is one of the most frustrating things in poker. The best players in the world occasionally fall just short of the money, but they do it far less often than weaker players and they make final tables much more often. Learning to apply pressure on the bubble without taking big risks is key to making real money in poker tournaments. this lesson will also cover the art of surviving once you get into the money and how to attack a final table. Heads up play finishes up the lesson and a heads up push/fold chart is included.
Extra Advantages – There is more to poker than math. You need information to put into those equations. In this lesson we will cover tells, appearance reads, verbals, and manipulating your opponents. We will also talk about covering up your own tells and making sure that you aren’t giving anything away yourself. This lesson will come with a pdf copy of my guide to poker tells.
Playing Your Best Game – Once you know the right play it is not always easy to make it correctly every time. Sports psychology is an important part of being a winning player. We will cover tilt control, the mental game, and learning to stay focused and be a predator at the tables.
Advanced Play – The basics we covered in the zones will prevent you from falling prey to better players, but to really take advantage of weaker opponents you need to be thinking on a higher level. Using tells, ranges, and combinatorics together can get you a very accurate read on your opponent’s likely holding. Then we will cover playing against ranges and how to analyze hands on your own using an equity calculator and my analysis spreadsheet. Hand relevance, polarization, slow playing, and some game theory will all be covered in this intense lesson.
Getting Serious – If you are going to get serious about tournament poker there are a few things you need to know beyond poker strategy. We will cover taxes, finding a backer, selling action, travel expenses, expected income, bankroll and variance issues. We will also touch on continuing education, training sites, books and further coaching options with myself or other strategy or mental game coaches and what will work best for you going forward.