Friday, March 31, 2006

Rockin' the Paradise

So whatcha doin' tonight?
Have you heard that the world's gone crazy?

1981 was a top 3 year for me. My beloved Oakland A's were on their way to the playoffs--despite a mid-season strike--behind the imperious Billy Martin and His "Amazing Aces" (Norris, Lankford, Keough, McCatty, Kingman); I was a Big Man on my Junior High campus in my dazzling white soccer jacket, a first-year switch from the old red and a latent nod to John Travolta; my girlfriend was Tanya Elkins and if her face somewhat resembled a bulldog's, she made up for it with her preternaturally large breasts. Life was good. And every morning, while Jay Brown and I folded our newspapers to prepare for the route, we listened to Styx "Paradise Theater."

All of which barely qualifies as a segue, but I'm all about barely qualifying. Maybe I just have Too Much Time on My Hands. I mentioned yesterday the $10 Re-buy tourney at Paradise Poker. I played it again last night, finishing 12th for a nice little payday. I was on target for the final table until two late boards missed me, despite flopping huge draws each time, while in good position against bad players. Nothing Ever Goes as Planned. For more than four hours, I watched some of the most horrendous play I've ever seen. Have you heard that the world's gone crazy?

There is a lot of good vs. bad in this tournament. I had a single tactic all night: wait for a huge hand, push, double up. It's not rocket science. You will not be able to "work on your chops." Because of the 12-minute blind levels, by the third hour, if not before, it has the feel of a Turbo. Even with the re-buy aspect, there are not enough chips in play (last night, average re-buy/add-on per player was less than 3). Part of that is because fully 30% of the field was out by the end of the re-buy period (230 of 692), and a chunk of those players didn't re-buy once. Additionally, 50%(!) were out within 90 minutes, or inside a half-hour AFTER the re-buy. That, friends, is a lot of dead bleeping money in a prize pool that has gone over $20K both times I played (it's $15K Guaranteed).

Mine was the kind of finish that makes you feel a little dirty, because there was little or no skill involved, unless you count patience as a skill. I was card dead for 90 minutes, my 18K stack at the end of the first hour reduced in half by the middle of the third, all while I watched folks push with KTo and get called by A5o. Stealing? Forget about it. There was so much limping (and limp-calling) that I think we need to work on a vaccine to eradicate the threat. There were open raises of 8x and open-pushes by guys with Ms of 14+. The only thing to do was wait for a hand.

Of course, it was nice to get called every time I pushed and not once did I do it with a hand worse than JJ. I went from the aforementioned 9K to 44K in a single orbit when all those cards that had eluded me forever came at once. Later, I went from 29K to 260K in short order, one Donk doubling me up twice in a row when he was dominated. It was The Best of Times. Yet, at no point in those last two hours, did my M go over 8. Not even when I sat 7th of 22 remaining.

So it's a crapshoot, but the play is so poor that one with even a basic understanding of tournament play should still have an advantage, even if almost all the action occurs pre-flop. It's not a format that's gonna improve your game, but based on my experience, it'll improve your bottom line. The Tourney starts at 8 p.m. PST every night during the week (don't know about weekends) and is called Palmetto or something like that. If you play at Paradise, or, like me, still have money sitting there from the WPBT satellite, I'd urge you to give it a shot.

Whatcha doin' tonight?


At 10:00 AM, Blogger CraigNY said...

That's tremendous. As I do still have a chunck of money sitting there idle from the WPBT, I will almost certainly play tonight's rebuy. Friday night will likely make it even crazier than what you experienced, no? I hope to see you tonight on the virtual felt, Joe.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Blogger WSOP Satellite Tourney
PokerStars - Private Tab
April 3rd
$30 +3
No Limit
Password: socoshot

At 11:00 AM, Blogger ToddCommish said...

What, you couldn't work "Snowblind" into this? Don't worry, I never listened to Side Two either...

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Nick Christy said...

I have played a couple over at Noble Poker. They have a similiar format, but they run a 1k and 2500 guaranteed tournaments. The 1k usually draws about 300-900 people and it just as wild and crazy... but the 2500 ($10 buy in) usually draws slightly over 100 people, so it is +EV if you get ITM.

At 11:42 PM, Blogger iamhoff said...

Paradise Theatre rocked! I would've found a way to weave Half Penny Two Penny into's all about pushing to make it. "He was exceedingly rich for such a young man". 2nd blog post today I've seen (StB, I think) that talked about Styx. Maybe a trend...

At 9:37 PM, Blogger CraigNY said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger CraigNY said...


See what happened when I tried to follow your advice???



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