#1. It's the little things that are big. Success at poker is all about the range you put your opponents on, and the range or hand that you think they're putting you on. Here's a hand from a small tourney I played the other day. Simple and seemingly trivial, but it illustrates the whole L2 and L3 thought process thing, and how you can nickel and dime your way up the pay ladder if you're paying attention to ranges.
- 45-man SnG, 17 players left
- Nine handed table
- Blinds: 500/1000
- Hero in big blind has T37,800 (~38 big blinds)
- Villain #1 is UTG+2 with T45,300 (~45 big blinds). Read is that he is playing very ABC and non-creatively.
- Villain #2 is SB with T20,500 (~20 big blinds). Just moved to my table.
- Hero dealt Kh2c (i.e., squadoosh)
- V#1 open limps for T1000.
- Acton folds to V#2 who completes.
- Hero checks BB option
- Pot is T3000. Effective SPR is 7+
- Flop dealt: Ac-6s-6d
- SB checks
- Hero bets T2200
- V#1 Folds
- V#2 Folds
- Hero takes down pot.
- V#1 is playing standard ABC poker. His open limp in EP screams small to medium pairs and maybe some biggish suited connectors. He does not have an Ace, nor does he have a big pair.
- V#2 completes. From an average player, this generally means anything from small pairs to suited connectors to non-suited big cards.
- Board texture is very dry and almost certainly didn't hit V#1's range.
- Check from SB means he also didn't probably hit any part of this board.
- I checked preflop, so I could have virtually anything, though the villains probably don't think I have a big hand, or I would have reraised pre. It's very possible that I could have an offsuit small Ace or a six in my hand.
- I've got zero pot equity with my air.
- I probably have quite a bit of fold equity against both players. Even if they think I'm full of it, they're going to be hard pressed to play back multi-way.
- An SPR of seven means no one is going broke on one pair or under pair hands.
- We're still a long way from money, but now that we're down to two tables, people are generally feeling like they've invested a lot of time and effort. This furthers the fold equity I have on this dry flop.
- My line is a one-and-done bluff, pure and simple. I'll shut it down against any (re)action.
- A bet of 2/3's pot looks big/significant to the opp, but won't commit me to anything more if I get played back at.
#2. Position, position, position. I saw a cool blog post the other day by supernova123 about the power of position. Most of my hand history for the past few years on Hold'em Manager got lost when I had a computer crash, so the following is just for some older $10NL data I had sitting on my backup drive. This data set is for hands that I saw a flop and had position on my opponent. Nothing more, nothing less. Pretty impressive demonstration on the power of position, eh?
#3. Show me the money. Full Tilt is now allowing US players to log in and view their old accounts. Here are the PPA instructions that I used to check my balance:
To find your current Full Tilt Poker balance, you will have to download your account history. I downloaded mine and it was pretty straightforward. Here's how to do it:
- Go to FullTiltPoker.com and download the client.
- Open the client and log in. Your old login credentials should still work.
- Go to "Requests" in the menu bar and select "Account History...(Web)." A web page will open where you can initiate a request for your history.
- Select the date range for your request. I chose an end date a couple of weeks after Black Friday (choose something like 5/1/2011) and a start date a few months prior. Once done, click "submit."
- You will receive an email when the file is ready for download.
- Once you receive the email, select "Account History...(Web)" in the "Requests" menu of the FTP client, download the ZIP file from the web page that opens, and simply open the Excel-compatible spreadsheet.
- If you don't have Excel (or a compatible spreadsheet program), you have some free options. One is to use Google Docs. Another is to download MS Excel Viewer. I downloaded it myself to verify I could open this spreadsheet. It works fine. Another is to download LibreOffice.
My FTP balance was exactly what I was expecting to see, so I feel pretty good that their overall records are accurate. It's also nice to know that I have enough sitting in the account to buy into a WSOP event next year... if they ever reimburse me, that is. I'm hopeful, but I'm not quite holding my breath yet.
All-in for now...