Friday, August 27, 2004

$5 Multis... the Existentialist Meat Grinder
"There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity." - Goethe
If poker were as simplistic as German philosophy... then I'd be an uber-rich guy. In a recent entry, I compared the first hour of the $5 Multi table NL tournaments on Party Poker to an existentialist meat grinder. Entering one of those crap shoots is like those GIs who courageously stormed the beaches on D-Day, their fate was no longer in their hands.

The feeling is mutual... I assure you!

In the last few weeks, Party Poker has now added three daily $5 NL multi table tourneys. Three chances at insanity everyday. Winning the lottery seems more likely than me winning one of these 1200+ player multis. So why do I play when the payouts suck and you have to play for five hours just to break even? It's a cheap way to simulate a large field of players... such as the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods or the WSoP... and practice the mental discipline and patience that I have a tough time maintaining at the tables. I get bored very easily and my down fall ensues when I attempt to force the action instead of letting the opportunities present themselves to me.

My goals in these thousand plus player tourneys are a lot different than a normal NL ring game or a $30 SNG. My first goal is to make the first break and survive the first hour (four levels) without doing damage to my stack. I've had instances when I played zero hands aside from the blinds going into level 5. Problems do arise after folding my way into the first break and finding myself the short stack at a table of giants. To combat that probable scenario, I adapted the philosophy... fold every hand out of position, but look for any easy chance to double up against loose players. If you can read your table well and find the whacko who likes to gamble all his chips on 44 or J9s, just wait until you have a marginal hand then go for it. You're usually a little bit better than a coin flip. You're going to need those chips if you expect to grind your way into the money.
Results from Last 10 $5 Multis:
23 out of 901 = $$
192 out of 1301
36 out of 1262 = $$
583 out of 1279
690 out of 1257
486 out of 1164
115 out of 969
47 out of 769 = $$
519 out of 954
373 out of 1042
So I'm averaging 385th place out of 1200... or finishing in the top 33% everytime... cashing out in three of the multis (and in 2 out of the last 3) for a combined winnings... a breathtaking $76!! My net profit is $16, not a very impressive number. However, I can't quantify the little lessons I learned that will pay off in the long run. I'm becoming a more patient player, understanding that surviving the onslaught is as important as winning hands.

In my last $5 multi, I grinded my way into 23rd place and made the money. That was my best finish to date. I got AK three times, JJ, KK and AA twice each... and the Hilton Sisters once. I was knocked out in Level 16 when my A5 in the LB lost to J2s. Yes, he caught his J on the river. I started out hot and by the end of Level 2, I tripled up with T3200+. I won a monster pot with AA... and both 44 and AK pushed in their stacks preflop. I really got lucky because by the turn, one guy had a flush draw and the other guy had a staright draw! But no one caught their outs (or "ins" as my favorite actress would call them) and the pocket aces held up. I really river'd a guy pretty badly... when I took down KK with AQs and doubled up in Level 6 which rocketed me to 7th overall out of 325 at that point.

I'm going to play at least two $5 multis on Party Poker a week to sharpen my NL grinding skills, with the hope that one day, like my brother (and Bad Blood!), I'll make a final table. But when I do... I'm going to win the whole friggin' thing and walk away with at least $1000 for my troubles. Chew on that for a while Goethe are Sartre.


I added a few new blogs to my blogroll: Stripper by Night, Mojo Poker, The Peanuts, Poker Queen, Outkicked, Nut Heart Flush, Spaceman's Abode, Stan Ace Nuts, Blu Moon, Project 10K, and Helixx.

Check them out. Just what I need. More distractions! I'm looking for another intern just to keep up with all these new blogs. With school back in session... are there any college students in the NYC area looking to add the Tao of Poker to your resume? No pay, but plenty of perks, and I'll get you invited to the Blue Parrot to see what Anaconda is all about. Lots of reading required and I offer no heath plan nor parter benefits. E-mail me your resumes.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Bruce Cohen for the photo!

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