Archive for April, 2012

With the start of this project I did not plan to take a shot at WSOP satellites or qualifiers, but Titan Poker is hosting a “Warrior League 2012”, similar to the one they hosted last year. I did not play the league last year, but kept in my mind to check Titan’s homepage for the league this year. The structure is quite simple to explain: every warrior qualifies for six special tournaments after paying the entry fee for the league of $215. The tourneys are in three weeks in May on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Each tourney awards the same amount of points for the top finishers and the best five results of every player sum up to his total score. The top 50 % of players who have reached the most points after event # 6 will qualify for the 7th tourney – the Warrior Grand Final on May, 28th. This final awards twice the amount of points of the previous tourneys to determine the winners of the overall league. The first 15 players receive WSOP packages with a Main + Side Event Package for 1st and 2nd, a Side Event Package only for 15th and different packages in between. Players finishing overall 16th to 50th receive $525 WSOP Satellite or smaller tourney tokens.

The goal of having a back2back win at Casino Wiesbaden or at least have a back2back cash in the 75 EUR NLHE Rookie Tourney last nite was really nice, but did not work out. My table was very soft with many players limping or calling value bets at turn and river with bottom or middle pair. Still I did not get any value for my pocket 10s and pocket aces in the first blind level. Even worse, I lost half of my stack on a J-high board with top pair vs. 27 hitting trip deuces. I eventually busted at the end of the second blind level with round about 15 big blinds left, trying to get a straight with 109 on a 28J-flop. My hand did not improve and I busted early in 52th place.

With the newly regained bankroll amount, I will hit the online tables for the project again. Instead of firstly announced 30x Step 1 SNGs, I will use a bankroll of $300 to play 40x Step 1 SNGs at Pokerstars. Play will commence today, overviews will be given as soon as some hopefully positive results can be shown. In addition to that, I have found another very interesting way to qualify for THE live event of live events this and every year: the WSOP 2012. I will be checking the structure and the prices and will update more information about it soon, most likely in the next days.

That must have been the best restart of the project I could have thought of… No, I am not talking about my third blog post in basically one week, but my appearance to last nite’s so called “Rookie Tourney” at the casino in Wiesbaden, Spielbank Wiesbaden.


It was one of these days, when strange things happen for a reason – it all started entering the casino. The last time I went to the casino in Wiesbaden, I noticed they have easened up their dress code. Back in the day it was obligatory to wear a suit (or similar) in combination with a shirt and a tie in Wiesbaden. Therefore I decided to dress with “normal” pants, black shoes, a grey T-shirt, a blazer and a scarf. ”No-go! Sorry, can’t let you enter!” What?! They told me a formal shirt is still a must, a tie not any more, everything else was fine… Damn! I asked for an only-once-in-a-lifetime exception and five minutes later the ladies at the entrance gave it a go… Strange thing #1!

The field of 60 players created a prize pool of 4,500 EUR with only six players getting paid. Out of the common the casino in Wiesbaden is not deducting any fee or staff bonus from the prize pool, so a tip is a necessity in my opinion. The blind structure for a 75 EUR tourney is rather good for German standards: 30min blind levels, 4,000 starting stack with starting blinds of 25/50. Normally you have the time until the end of the fourth blind level to gather chips without spewing your stack. From that point on you either have at least doubled up or you are in a push-or-fold situation, respectively busted.

It took me to the third or fourth blind level to finally win some pots and step-by-step move to the top. Nothing too special happened (to me) until we reached the final two tables with 18 players left. I accumulated round about 22,000 chips, always having in mind the average at the final table would be 40,000… $!”@”*! Why the hell was I thinking it was 40,000 and not 24,000?! I have no clue at all. However I had AK in the cutoff and raised to 2,500 with blinds just risen to 500/1000 – no antes the whole tourney. The small blind instantly reraised to 6,000 with 10,000 chips behind. I thought about it for probably two minutes and eventually open-folded my hand not looking for a coin-flip even though I could have just called and re-evaluated at the flop. Unfortunately the small blind looked at his cards and showed one ace to the table, giving me a 100 % certainty that I was not close to dead vs. AA, not tieing vs. AK, but way up in front vs. AQ/AJ. I only lost 2,500 chips and was still holding 20 big blinds with other players dropping like flies during the next blind level.

I cannot completely recall how I managed to get 43,000 chips entering the final table (I busted a smaller stack 55 vs. 44 for maybe 10,000), but there I was surprised to be the second or third biggest stack, sitting directly in position to the chipleader. After a couple of hands at the final table I spoke out loud what kept me surprised. ”Where have all the ships gone? How can I be a biggie holding only an average stack?!” The other guys looked at me as if I just said something really stuipid… well, I did… and another thought later I realised my calculation towards the average stack was absolutely wrong. D’oh… Strange thing #2!

Another blind level later we lost a couple of small stacks, agreeing on a deal for 7th place (first six paying 20 € each). Some elderly Italian guy left me completely astonished when not paying the 20 € to the 7th place finisher claiming that he did not hear nor agree to that deal (6th place already paid 360 €!). He was in the middle of an almost stunning run of hands after joining the final table with only 14,000, also not agreeing to a 5min break before we start six-handed. It was him, who got rid of at least two more players, I busted a third guy and all of a sudden we were down to three players. The Italian to my right had a freaking wall of chips in front of him with round about 175,000 chips. I did not see major changes in my stack holding 45,000 and a young Spanish guy to my left held the remaining 30,000. The blinds must have been 2,000/4,000 and the following two hands were almost back-to-back: First, I called Italian’s all-in on the turn with a nut-straight vs. his middle-pair and no draws – up to 95,000. The next hand is probably the most memorable live hand I have ever played myself:

Strange Thing #3:

Still three-handed I found AK on the button and raised to 10,000. The flop came down 999, the Italian guy checked and I knew I was still way ahead and played a continuation bet of 10,000, which was called by him. The turn showed the 9 and looking at his face I realized, he had no clue what to do with that 9 nor with quads on the board. My (donk-)turn bet of yet another 10,000 was called by villain and the dealer already kept the chip stacks at the betting line in belief of a split pot. Another 25,000 on the river was called, I showed my hand and he mucked his hand! After all, I can even imagine him holding an ace as well… with a lower kicker! ROFL!!! I was really, really close to ask the dealer to show villain’s hand even though he mucked, which is sometimes considered bad poker etiquette, but I did not want to spoil the moment, turned away from the table, laughed and bit my tongue to keep my laughter quiet!

The rest of the story is quickly written: Spaniard basically watched me take down the former chip leader with 75 % of the remaining chips hand-by-hand. The final hand was yet a coinflip 99 vs. some KJo and no hit. Even though I was a 195,000 vs. 45,000 chipleader I suggested a deal that left me with 1,460 € instead of 1,570 €, giving the sympathetic Spanish guy 1,100 € instead of 990 €. I checked the figures today with a downloadable ICM calculator for my iPhone and surprisingly I was quite accurate with the proposal of that deal.

All in all after just more than five hours of play, some drinks, 20 € for the 7th place, quite some fun and a tip for the dealers + an extra tip for the ladies at the entrance (which I paid out of my own pocket) I finishes my comeback to the project with a net profit of 1,315 € boosting the bankroll back to almost 4,000 €!!! The plans I have mentioned in the last blog post are not subject to be changed, even though I might be raising the number of the Step 1 SNGs to 50 instead of 40.

Next thing up: Sunday’s 75 € Rookie Tourney @ Spielbank Wiesbaden – looking forward to a Back2Back-Victory!