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50k guaranteed, Kings Casino Rozvadov, Czech Republic

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The 50K guaranteed at the Kings and some major changes to my blog

I went back to Rozvadov two weeks ago but it wasn’t meant to be my day. I was really waiting for that weekend to use my €330 voucher and play the 50k guaranteed after such a long time again but it was one of those days were you never had a chance.

I started very well with AA on my very first hand and continued with some nice moves but from there I either got nothing at all or tried my best but wasn’t able to connect with the board. Too bad as this was a table that could have been outplayed easily with my style of play. Good number of people that loved their own traps so much that they wouldn’t see the moment being trapped themselves. Unfortunately for that kind of play you need a good/strong hand once in a while … and more unfortunately I never got one.

Therefore it was all over after around 4 hours and I left about 82nd of 120 players, took my time at the nice and free buffet and went back home way too early.

But there’s more coming up in the near future and I’ve finally learned that you just have to accept that days like this happen – as well as days that work the other way round (and are much more fun of course).

Time to look forward to the next big event which will be the Austrian Deepstack Poker Championships at the Montesino in Vienna in mid April. Another super deepstack with 60 min. levels and 50,000 startchips (organized again by Mike Lacey and D4 Events).

After that nothing big is planned for now … until early July. Because we now have finalized and booked our summer holiday. And beside two weeks in Denver, Yellowstone, Seattle and Vancouver (most probably without poker at all) the trip includes almost a week in Las Vegas with at least two Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza tournaments.

So there will be still a lot interesting poker content coming up in the next months. But theres much more to happen. My blog will see some major changes. If you accessed my blog via my homepage adress http://www.fifthstreet.biz then you can see those changes already. If you are using http://shadowbj21.blogspot.com you are reading this text still on the old blog.

Because the first important change is that I finally moved to Wordpress. Blogger is nice and it was able to suit me well for a long time. But with the changes coming up I didn’t feel comfortable with blogger anymore. I won’t delete the blog immediately but this will be definately the very last entry here. So if you like to continue reading then you have to switch over to the new blog.

After you switched and I assume you did so at least by now ;-) you will see that there is a new design … hope you like it :-) This will allow me to use Wordpress not only as a blog but as a whole homepage with extended functions. By using http://www.fifthstreet.biz you will always reach the new homepage. But you can of course access the blog directly. But there it depends on your interest what link to use (I will give them to you at the end).

Because the next important change is that I won’t limit my blog to straight poker content anymore. I think that limiting my blog to just poker is like cutting a picture into pieces and just framing only one part of it. I have so many other interests (e.g. technology, dancing) that are part of my whole life and of course have an influence on the poker part of this life as well. I assume that this is the major reason why I started to get a bit tired about blogging in the last time.

My twitter account isn’t limited to poker for some time now and the same will happen here. On the other hand I understand that there might be people out there that may be only interested in the poker content – and there’s nothing wrong with that. So all of my posts will get a category called either poker, social media, dancing or personal life. So if you are not interested in all the stuff you can jump directly to the category you are interested and only read the appropriate content … but I assure that you will miss something if you do so ;-) I will try to focus on on topic per post but on occasion will do some crossposting (having posts with more than one category). Of course it’s an interesting experiment and I will take my time to find out how this works out.

I have migrated the old content and re-categorized all my posts (thanks to Wordpress’ import/export feature that was quite easy). But there might be still some posts that need some manual work in design. So bear with me if you browse the archives and find something badly formatted.

Finally here are the links you can choose from: 
http://www.fifthstreet.biz will lead you to the homepage (this one will take some time until the change is active!)
http://blog.fifthstreet.biz will lead you to the whole blog directly
http://poker.fifthstreet.biz will lead you just to the poker related blog posts

Don't forget ... this will be the very last entry here. All newer posts can only be found in the new blog!
And now … enjoy!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back to Rozvadov after two years and cashing again

It now nearly two years that I went to the Kings Casino in Rozvadov. At that time Deepstacks with a buy-in of €275 (and especially a guaranteed prizepool of 50k) were very rare everywere around. Unfortunately I wasn't running good in that event and left after only a few levels. At that time this one was a two day event and as I had booked my hotel anyway I came back the next day for a side-event ... and took it down :-)

Unfortunately they changed that 50K event to a higher buy-in, mad it a one day-event and even a second chance. With deepstacks and better structures emerging around everywere there was so much to play in closer distance that I didn't came back to the Kings until last Thursday.

As you may have read in my last blog I'm a bit dissapointed how the tournament scene around Munich is developing. Regular events are losing quality and the big ones get destroyed by places fighting each other. Therefore it was time to check out the Kings again.

Daniel Dawid is their new Pokerroom-Manager and he's the guy who was responsible for making the Poker Royal in Kufstein successful. And by checking out the regular tournament plan I could see that he's already working on some postive changes.

With all the informations and structures available on the webpage it is quite easy to compare the tournaments and I decided for the €135+20 with 12k chips and 25 minute levels. It suited my style of play best although none of the other tournaments is bad either. Unfortunately I choose a day with only 22 participants (while they usually have 40+ in that tournament). But wait, unfortunately is the wrong term here ... with a €5,000 guaranteed prizepool that was a nice overlay for those 4 making it into the money :-)

The tournament was played in the separate tournament area (only the final table took part in the main casino). It's very nice there also it was a bit cold during the first levels. And I was running cold too. Seemed like I always became just second in a race. At the end I decided to take my chances and was all-in with a flush-draw vs. a set. The flush hit and I was back in the game. From there things went much better and I was able to get as high a 39k with average around 20k. From there it went down again but I still made it to the final table. First I doubled a small stack, then I doubled myself and left the immediate danger zone. So I was able take my time and see others bust. With 5 left I went against the guy who I had doubled early on that final table. We both held crap (I was in the big blind and there wasn't much to pay to cover his all-in) but I was slightly ahead. He busted and we were down to 4 and ITM.

Shortly after we made a deal that granted me €1,000. Three of us were almost equal in chips and the chipleader held more than 50% of all chips. Placement was made by chipcount and I came finally third in this tournament. Unfortunately it's one of those tournaments I ranted about in my last post. So I only got €650 in cash and a €330 ticket for the big Saturday tournament. It's fine for me to play the Saturday tournament again as it has a great structure but I stand by my attitude that I would prefer cash in general!

One word regarding the so called "Second Chance" (an option for most King's tournaments). This is not like a single rebuy (or even the possibilty to start with a double stack). It's only an option to go to the cashier after you busted, buy-in again and get a new seat assignment. So playing this like a regular freezeout is no problem here (especially as very few take the second chance).

Going to Rozvadov two times and cashing both times is a very good rate ;-) although I doubt I can keep it that successful I will be back on March 26th to use my ticket in the Saturdays 50k guaranteed.

With an almost 2-hour drive this is definately not the closest option to play. But they offer good tournaments, free drinks, free food (buffet), free wireless-lan so there's no reason not to go there on occasion again!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's wrong with the nearby tournament scene?

I start to get somewhat disappointed about the tournament scene in the short driving distance around Munich. I already wrote a blog entry about how much I dislike it to find places that advertise events with many chips but then destroy them by crappy structures. But in other places it doesn't look better at this time.

One of my favorite places now offers almost only satellites during the week. Satellites might be a good thing if you live close to that place ... but not if you have to drive one hour or more. The only "real" tournament during weekdays (10k chips and a decent structure) has a guaranteed €1.500 for first place. Not bad if you get 80+ players ... awful if you only get 30-40 players. In that case you end up with a payout-structure offering something like €150 for second place and so on. Of course in most cases this will result in a deal at the final table - which makes the idea of a fixed first price even more worthless.

An other place adds tickets for other events to the prize-pool. Well, adding isn't the right term because they are part of the prize money. This ends up in playing a tournament for €175 or maby €350 and not getting any cash before the final table as a lot of the first ITM places just get a ticket of maybe €1.000. Nothing wrong with the ticket in general (as it is for a very good tournament) but personally I prefer cash and like to decide for myself if I come back another time and invest all or a part of my cash won.

Don't get me wrong, I love creative tournament concepts. But they must be creative and helpful for both sides - the customers and the card-room. It seems that currently the marketing of an event seem to be most important. Advertise many chips, huge prizepools and big first prizes and the people will come. Currently the advertisers are right. Most people allow themselfs to get flashed by those marketing-stunts and don't really look at the ratio of cost and potential outcome. But I am not sure if this will be valid in the long run.

On the other hand, if there is a real good event somewere you can be sure other places nearby try to offer something similar (or better) at the same time. So instead of playing 2 or 3 good events on two or three weekends you are stuck with playing just one and make a decision. And again the places steal people from each other. So guaranteed prizepools may result in overlays or have to be lower as they could have been. Another thing that can't be good in the long term although it might work short-term.

Both, the marketing-stunts and the hard competition during events seem to indicate that we had too many places in the past (or not enough customers for all those places). The competition becomes harder and card-rooms try to find options to get enough customers.

I'm not sure how this will work out in the end and who will survive but what happens at the moment isn't very good for the customers. And those who can calculate correctly will do the right thing. Looks like I will play less regular events in the near furture and keep my money for really good events somewere else. As I wrote several times: With proper planning it isn't really expensive to get to Nottingham, Dublin, Vienna and some other places and play real good tournaments for real cash options. I love to play Poker but I am not playing just to play. If I don't like what is offered ... then I don't play!

PS: There is a reason I didn't name anybody directly here in my blogpost. Although I took real life examples I have no intention to side with anyone. In fact nobody is better than the other here ... and those who have read the whole post will realize that everybody around Munich got "slapped" the one or the other way!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Deep run at the EDPC ... but not deep enough

I definately should go back to my old routine that was posting every day during a trip. Much easier with several short blogs than to compile a long one after I am back from my trip. Especially if you can't post directly after your return.

Nevertheless here's what happened in Dublin. As said in my last post I was forced to travel one day earlier due to AerLingus problems with their cabin crew. At the airport we got informed that the flight was operated by Ryanair instead of AerLingus. I don't like Ryanair too much (especially as I paid AerLingus fares) but anyway ... most important thing was to arrive in Dublin early enough.

As I arrived late at 10pm I just went to my hotel room and took a long nap. On the next day I was lucky with my new hotel room (I stayed in another place for that first additional night). I arrived there at 12am and they told me that my room was already cleaned so I was able to check in immediately. Went down to the Ballsbridge (a short 10 minute walk) to watch the start of Day 1A of the EDPC and to take some photos. Met some of the other germans like Reinhard, Roy and Hanns-Peter. Roy told me he had switched from Day 1B to Day 1A and for a short moment I thought about doing the same. But I decided to stick with my game plan and not rush anything.

So this was an easy-going day that ended with dinner at Eddie Rockets round the corner and a trip to the Fitzwilliam card room. I really love the burgers at Eddie Rockets and especially their 50's style. The Fitzwilliams was a first time visit for me and it's something like in between of the Jackpot and Sporting Emporium in regards of their style. This evening they had a low-buy-in rebuy tournament that gathered over 85 players. With mostly french speaking players at the tables you could imagine that this tournament is much smaller on any other day. It was a nice warm-up but nothing special for me as I busted somewere in the middle of the field.

At least I got enough sleep for my starting day at the EDPC. It was a real roller-coaster on that day. First it went down from the 50k starting stack to almost 30k. Then up again and down again. It looked like whenever I made it to my new high something bad happened. At least I didn't do anything bad myself. I avoided a blow-up for the whole day and never invested too much money in bad spots. Finally I got a break when I got an almost full payout with A's that improved to a set on the flop (I got Aces 4 times that day!). That was the first time I broke the 100k mark and never look back to two digits during the rest of the day. Then I busted another player and his 70k stack which got me to my high at 210k. At the end of the night I was able put 197,800 chips into my bag. 36th in the combined chipcount (and third best german).

Of course I slept very well that night. This was a very good starting point for Day 2 which was planned to end in the money. And it started perfect. A weak button call allowed me to sneak in from the small-blind and to bust the big-blind as I flopped two pair (vs. his TPTK). Up to 260,000 in less than one level. Another bad betting pattern from an opponent allowed me to catch my flush and I reached my high of 299,000 in level 2 of the day.

Then it happened: QQ in the big blind. An early position raiser made it 7k (at 1200/2400-300) and I re-rasied him to 21k. He called after a short hesitation. I ruled out AA and KK due to the call and put JJ on the not probable list with the J-J-2 flop. With expecting him playing something like TT or 99 I challenged him with a 28k bet. He went all in for 40k more and I had to call due to the pot odds (even if I was running into quads). He didn't have JJ but had played J9s which was still enough to take down the pot. Calling a 21k reraise preflop for 20% of his stack with J9s? Well played ;-)

I still had about 200k left so there was no reason to change into panic mode. Unfortunately I was out of playing mode too! For the next hours I was abolutely card dead and my stack went down to 93k with the average at 230k. I was able to recover to 150k again but it never went further. Finally I went in cheap with A8 against the big-blind and we saw a flop that gave me a gut-shot straight(-flush) draw. It was checked and the turn gave me a double gut-shot. I ruled out the possible straight as it was to weak with the 8 and decided to put my stack all-in. 94k went into a 100k pot. My opponent thought for a very long time and finally decided to call. And again I was surprised. He had called for more then half of his stack with just two high cards (AJ) and a possible nut-flush. The river blanked for both of us and I was out in 140th of 737.

Went to the sporting emporium that night for a small freezeout tournament but busted shortly before the money. On the last night I came back to the Jackpot Club (which was the place I visited first on my initial trip to Dublin). I was quite surprised. They had changed the positions of the tables (making it look like more space) and changed the old tables and put in very comfortable chairs. The place is much nicer now then it was in the past. I played my last tournament of the trip there and it ended in an awful way: Was able to get all the chips in with a made straight on the flop, got called by a set of eights and the board paired on turn and river ... ouch!

The good part of the AerLingus strike was that I was able to rebook my return flight free of charge too. So I went back home one night earlier and was able to watch the Superbowl at the comfort of my home.

Although I didn't make it to the money this time ... this was definately one of my best tournaments I had ever played. And only two bad plays by opponents that got rewarded had been able to stop me to making it into the money, So yes, I really liked that days in Dublin regardless of the results!


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Going to Dublin earlier than expected

Yesterday evening I got a SMS from AerLingus telling me that my flight to Dublin was canceled due to "industrial actions". Honestly I had no idea what "industrial actions" meant but I understood that I wouldn't fly to Dublin on Wednesday morning as expected.

AerLingus then told me that I was free to re-book my flight at no cost. They reccomended a flight on Wednesday evening but I decided that this was too late as I wanted to play a warm-up tournament and also taking pictures from Day 1A. So I tried to book for the Tuesday evening flight and it went through without problems. Also this one would have cost about €120 more than my original flight it was indeed not charged in any way and rebooking was easily done via the AerLingus webpage. Very good job by AerLingus!

The website also stated more clearly what the problem was. As far as I understand there is a strike of cabin crew members causing them to cancel some flights. So my only problem left was to find a hotel room for  that additional night and I am happy to be back at the Albany House. This was the place I stayed on my first visit to Dublin and I really liked it. Unfortunately never got a good rate since then (and never was back)... but got a very good one for tonight.

So after the first panic has settled everything seems to be fine now with my trip. As with Nottingham two weeks ago you will get live updates via Twitter. You'll find only a few updates on Facebook and of course you will get a wrap up here in the blog.

Oh, btw. I got a nice email from a guy called Michael Duchesne. He had compiled a very interesting list called Top 100 Poker Blogs and told me that I made it into that list (you can find me on place 59 there). I'm of course very honoured but also like to direct you to his list as you will find some very interesting blogs here. He put them in several categories so it should be easy to find the most interesting stuff very fast.


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