Online Poker Update

After the WPT World Championship ended, so too did the high stakes games taking place at “Bobby’s Room.”  Stars such as Tom Dwan, David Benyamine, Phil Ivey mixed it up in live poker action.  They probably enjoyed the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome relief from a mouse, though shuffling chips too many times can cause some pain on its own.

Patrik Antonius has been having a good month.  In the Durrrr challenge he’s been able to build a lead, with almost 1/3rd of the required $50,000 hands complete.  Factor in his other online play and he’s up 4.5 million on the year.  April helped the bottom line for the big Swede as he won over 1.5 million.

His opponent in the challenge Tom “durrrr” Dwan himself, is up $272k in April.  Despite the slow bleed to Antonius in the challenge Dwan’s bottom line has improved on the year.  Though not quite as improved as it was a couple of days ago.  Just a few days ago Dwan was in the clouds up over 2 mill on the month and nearly even on the year.  

So for the month he’s up.  But for the last few weeks he’s down 1.7 million.  Durrrr and Patrik have been playing hold’em and online omaha poker to meet their quota of hands.  There still remains some intrigue on whether or not Patrik can get so big a lead he can just sit on it to claim his 1.5 million.

Dwan’s not the only player to turn things around.  According to PokerKing (and the HighStakes Database) a couple other big names are enjoying big months:

 Ilari “ “Ziigmund” Sahamies and Phil Ivey are both enjoying seven-figure months in April as well, and both are currently sitting with around $1.5 million dollars worth of profit in 2009.

Other highstakes players are recently getting their acts together.  One of the most legendary online players, Di “Urindanger” has turned a profit of $872k in April to put a turniquet on his losses for the year.  His near one million this month, has cut down his losses to $1.1 million. 

Players losing their rolls? Lars Luzak is down almost a million on the month.  HarrisMP half a million.  The biggest losers are two of the bigger names.  Despite being boxed out of the Durrrr Challenge Phil “OMGClay Aiken” Galfond has dropped 1.3 million in cash play.  The Great Dane Gus Hansen lost 1.5 million.

Odds and Ends

-Annie Duke is compared to Hitler.  Joan Rivers made the remark in the board room of Celebrity Apprentice.  Rivers then apologized to Hitler via Twitter for comparing him to Duke.

Annie Duke in the same episode bragged about her blow-job prowess.  Wonder if Hitler ever did that.

-Phil Ivy is reported to have dropped a million in Bobby’s room.  So sayeth Doyle Brunson via twitter.

-I need to get a twitter account.  How behind the times is the PokerBat if the wig-set, so old they’ve shed their blue hair, is twittering and I’m not.

-Recently, heard Gavin Smith refuse to call a tweet, a tweet, to him it’s a twit.  To me that makes sense, but did I mention 80 year olds are more cutting edge then me.  So maybe we are the twits.  It’s only a matter of time before I look blankly at a remote control and try and will the TV on with no success.

-Speaking of Gavin Smith, sad news on PokerRoad podcast.  Shronk, a producer on the show, and long time collaborator has passed.  My thoughts are with the gang on PokerRoad.  Joe Sebok blogged about that recently.

-The WPT Championship has started.  My money is on Shannon Shorr with something to prove this year.

-Lady Gaga’s Pokerface song has an explicit meaning.  It’s the look she makes when being with a man and fantasizing about a woman.  Which begs the question what look does she make when she’s with a woman and fantasizing about a man.  Oh?  I’ve just been informed by the most recent of the Mrs. PokerBat’s that doesn’t happen.  I will have to step away from this blog post for a second to confront this.

-I’m back.  Word of warning don’t ask who your partner has fantasized about.  It could surprise you.  Joan Rivers?  Really? 

-I hate big hands too.  This guy’s got a point.

China's Great Wall far longer than thought: surveyThe Great Wall in China is longer than previously thought.  Sure, the desert might have rolled over it and part of it might have been made by non-stone materials, but how do you miss 180 miles of wall? 

-Sometimes the most obvious of information is right in front of you but you chose to ignore it.   If he’s betting like he’s got the nuts–a lot of times he has the nuts.  Whether it is live or online poker sometimes the obvious answer IS the answer.

The Hedge Didn’t Work.

Did I say take MSU on the moneyline? 

Did I say they would shock the world?

Did I say the hedge was the only play for my friend to make?

Did I really?  Hmm.  Let’s pretend I didn’t.  Let’s pretend I told all you guys who are into internet gambling to take North Carolina to cover the 7.5 and crush the Spartans because that’s what happened.  I like to be right, so let’s just go with that? 

No?  It’s not going to be our little secret?  Oh.  Okay, I got some egg on my face.  I got too caught up in rooting for Cinderfella as the Spartans were that night and didn’t recognize the disparity in talent, experience, and the sheer will to win the Tar Heels embodied.  Did I really say the emotional power of the city of Detroit, the entire car-building state of Michigan would power the Spartans to a championship? 

Man, I really whiffed.  This is like sitting on the river putting your opponent on a stone cold bluff throughout the hand and betting into him.  Then he casually slides the rest of his chips to the middle.  You really going to call him down with third pair?   Problem is you’ve already commited so many chips to the pot.

The underdog has won.  The favorite has lost.  It’s a strange game poker.  You chase with the losing hand and get lucky on the river you’re the only one feeling good about your play.  The other people just watching the game think you are schmuck, a lucky schmuck, and so too does the house.

In sports gambling, you pick an underdog, a 7.5 point underdog, and you think they are not only going to cover but win, you’ll need blind luck for that pick to hit.  Course most times it doesn’t.   And when it doesn’t you go back to your blog and write a post like this.

Betting on the Game Tonight

I’m of mixed minds about tonight’s game.  I read an interesting post about poker and hedging bets in this NCAA madness over at Bet and Win.  It got me thinking about tonight’s game.

I participate in sports betting every now and again.  I’m pretty good at football (non-american), football (american), and college basketball.  For march madness, I have a fairly simple and safe strategy.  In the first round of the NCAAs I’m going to pick the underdog unless I have a good excuse not to. 

For the record, good excuses not to, are when the favorites have a 1 or 2 for a seed.

I think they cover more games than not when a really high seed.  If I perceive someone as vulnerable I’ll pursue the dog in those games too, but rarely.  Used to be the underdogs covered a whopping 70% of first round games (that includes the 1 or 2 seeds) but since that became knowledge the spreads have come back to a more reasonable pay out.

In fact, there have been several times the last few years where the favorites covered more than the dogs.  The gamblers know a good bit more about the smaller programs these days.  On top of that the NCAAs, not this year, but in other recent years, have paired named teams with name teams, and lesser knowns with other lesser knowns.  There is less of an edge.

Why?  Everybody in the NCAA tournament is good.   Teams with lesser names are generally better than the gambler thinks and teams with bigger names but low seeds are generally worse than the gambler thinks.  He reads Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky and it’s a slam dunk Kentucky will cover despite Western Kentucky maybe being the better team THIS year.

The second round typically the action flip-flops.  With the favorites covering more than not.  Here the people now understand how good the dogs are and the pendulum swings too much in their favor.  In the third rounds, dogs are the better bet with the margin even tighter.  By the fourth round the lines are pretty spot on with near 50% on either side. 

When you get to the final four, you better know your teams, and have a good grasp on who’s playing better right now.  Figure out who has a psychological edge, these are college kids afterall, and bet with your gut.

Tonight’s game the psychology favors one team:  Michigan State.  They got blown out and embarrassed earlier in the year by UNC.  However, they had just played 4 games in a short span, were traveling back home, and were missing some key players. 

All they want is redemption against the Heels and to save some public face.  Also, the entire city of Detroit is behind the virtual home team, and so should three quarters of the stadium.  Plus, they have nothing to lose.  The Heels are the heavy favorite and MSU can thrive in the low expectations put on them.  Izzo is a genuis at this and he’s steered the Spartans to victory over big favorites in the elite eight and the final four (Louisville and UConn).

I look for the burden to be too much for the Tar Heels and for Michigan State to shock the world.  Take them on the money line and enjoy the 7.5 points UNC is giving.  Good Luck.