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There's no I in threesome

    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      What's up Pokerstrategy,

      My name is Miikka Anttonen, and some of you may also know me as Chuck Bass at the 2+2 mid and high stakes MTT forums. I'm an MTT coach at the Finnish Pokerstrategy, where my role consists of making videos, live coaching and writing strategy articles. Due to my cultural background I'm also fluent in English, and writing in English is actually much easier for me than it is in Finnish. Therefore I've been meant to start an English blog for a while, but I've never found the time (I already have a blog in Finnish and it's just too time-consuming to spend half a night writing in two languages). But here I am, sleepless after a long night at the bar... err, grinding, so I might as well give it a shot. I write for a couple of magazines as a side job and I've wanted to be a professional writer since I was a child, so this is something that comes off quite naturally.

      I've actually got a couple of other reasons for wanting to blog in English. The first one is that I just heard that the English Pokerstrategy are interested in translating my strategy articles in English, and they wanted me to do a small interview to introduce myself, so I figured this might be a good time to do the blogtroduction. Second, I've got a lot of friends at the 2+2 forums and the live circuit who know that I blog in Finnish and keep complaining to me that they'd like to read about my lagtard-scandi-6-bet-bluffing-thought processes in a language they can understand. So here you go, guys.

      I've been an MTTer for a little less than a year now, although I've played poker since 2007. At the time I was working as a farm hand in a prawn farm in Northeastern Australia, and there was a small stakes poker tournament at the farm every friday. I got hooked immediately and haven't looked back since. When I returned from my two years as a backpacker in early 2008 I was broke and in debt, so I started grinding $5 SNGs with a $100 bankroll. After grinding it up to 10k in a few months (SNGs were a lot softer back then) I switched to cash and started playing NLHE HU. I was quite succesful at the NL100-NL400 games (HU games were a LOT softer back then) and quickly grew my bankroll. I then went to Vegas in 2008 and busted my whole roll in all the stupid things you do when you go to Vegas for the first time and had to grind from scratch when I got back. I managed to get back on my feet and had a really good rest of 2008 playing SNGs and cash games.

      Early in 2009 I got a sponsorship offer from a poker site, and played various live tournaments as a part of their team. I'm not going to go in detail about this in my first entry, because it would take like three hours to explain the whole story, but basically I had a sponsorship worth 50k or so but in the end I got f***ed by them losing my bankroll to a bunch of scammers. I also did some REALLY bad decisions during 2009 in poker and life in general. For example, early in the year I had a bankroll of 40k or something and I just randomly decided to start learning PLO, having zero experience. I of course started from 5/10, pushing stacks in with overpairs 200BB deep wondering why I was so unlucky when people's 23-outer combo draws kept busting me. For a lot of the year I kept doing similar stuff, busting bankroll after another, playing games I wasn't even +ev at, playing online blackjack for 5k a shot etc. Add a sponsor who screws you over your net worth and, due to a staking agreement, also other people's money, and you're... well, f***ed.

      I had had some pretty good live tournament success in 2009, final tabling Unibet Open Portugal and cashing various live tournaments. I didn't really have a clue what I was doing in tournaments and had massive leaks in terms of stack sizes and other MTT stuff cash gamers just don't know about, but I was good at other things that are important in live MTTs (such as putting constant pressure and live reads) which sort of counterfeited my leaks. Anyway, about a year ago I had come to the point where I owed people a ton of money (the poker site owed me that money x2, but I had virtually no chance of getting that back, so I had to come up with a plan to pay the people on my own) and needed to grind it back fast. About a month earlier, I had been at the Vilamoura EPT with LarsLuzak who grinded high stakes PLO next to me, and I just randomly started an MTT at PokerStars. I think it was a $22 buy-in, and I ended up finishing second* out of 1000 runners or something, and caught the bug. So when I needed to get on the grind and make money fast, I figured that MTTs might be something I could actually be very good at if I studied them hard, which is exactly what I did.

      Last December I owed people about 20k and I had a starting capital of 1,5k. I decided to gain every possible bit of information I could find about MTTs, and spent endless hours watching videos, doing ICM calculations, reading articles and books and so on. At the same time I played 12 hours a day and kept getting better and better. I was debt-less in a couple of months, and started building my own bankroll after that with the intention of never going broke again. This is what the 1,5k has turned into in 11 months:

      I've also had decent live success: I recently applied to join Team Pokerstrategy for the live circuit, so I guess another reason for starting this would be to show them what a kick-ass grinder I actually am as I'm eagerly waiting their response.

      I've got a ton of other stuff to write about but this entry is already getting really long so I'll just end it here. I have no clue how frequently I'll be updating this, as I have a lot of stuff going on at the moment and a lot of grinding to do. I'm also going to Malta on Tuesday for a couple of weeks to play various live tournaments. When I get back I have an interesting project I'm going to start at the Finnish Pokerstrategy, which is hopefully going to set an example to a lot of Pokerstrategists in terms of doing things right to win a ton of money in MTTs. I'll strongly consider translating some or all of it in English too and posting it here. And then of course I've got the strategy articles coming up which will hopefully be helpful for other MTT grinders as well.

      I have to go now as it sounds like the chick I have upstairs just woke up, but I'll be back. Until then - don't even try to steal my blinds!

      *So I had one of the best HU players in the world next to me to help out when we got heads up against a random $22 player and we actually
  • 178 replies
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      potential for epic blog imo
    • sk345di
      Joined: 07.05.2009 Posts: 225
      Very interesting read, post often sir



      as in Gossip Girl
    • EmanuelC16
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,909
      The title reminded me of this song! :D

    • NightFrostaSS
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      ^^ Beat me to it
    • arisko
      Joined: 23.09.2009 Posts: 392
      this will be interesting. Waiting for updates :)
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      After a long night of grinding and an even longer morning flying I finally arrived here in Malta at 2PM yesterday. I was so tired that after checking in to my hotel I passed out almost immediately and slept for a good 15 hours. Now it's 6AM and I'm waiting for the hotel breakfast to start so I can go eat and hit the gym. I heard that people back in Finland are struggling to get to their jobs because of a snowstorm, so it's quite nice being in +25c temperatures here and being able to go to the beach later. I'm playing the 1650€ EMOP Grand Final today as well, though, and it's starting at 3PM so I'll have to finish my sunbathing early.

      During the following two weeks I'm going to play pretty much every main and side event here in two different tournament serieses: EMOP and the GSOP. I have no idea what the buy-in for the GSOP main event is but I assume it's going to be similar to EMOP. It's been a while since I cashed big in a live tourney so it'd be nice to finally hit a decent score here. My last live tournament was WPT Amneville (3500€ buy-in) where I ran bad and was also drawn into a terrible table of online monsters. It's pretty sick that when you're playing a ridiculously easy tournament with 200 bad French players and maybe 10 good non-French players, you have 5 of them in your table and all to your direct left. Oh well. The one before that was EMOP Barcelona where I was going strong until one of the last hands of day 1, where a local spewtard decided to make a massive 3bet overshove with Q8o and of course won against my AKs. I also played a 550€ side event there where I lost a chiplead pot with 18 players left AA<TT and ended up min-cashing.

      None of that was anything compared to my WSOP run this summer, though. I spent almost a month in Vegas playing pretty much every possible event. I think I played about 30 tournaments in 21 days (I just registered for another tournament when I got knocked out from something), and didn't manage to cash a single one. As the WSOP fields are very very soft this is an achievement in itself. I also played the $10k Main Event which I almost cashed. I had 3x average after day 1, 2x average after day 2, then Johnny Chan kept hitting his 2- and 3-outers against me on day 3 (I think some of these appear in the ESPN coverage) and I only had like 20BBs going into day 4. I managed to grind it up quite a bit with well-timed resteals, and was close to average when we were about 20 spots off the money bubble. Then I played a hilarious hand against future November 9-er Soi Nguyen where I opened 99 from early position, and he didn't notice my raise. He went on to say "raise" himself, thinking he was just open raising, and when the dealer informed him of my raise he was forced to 3bet. He chose to 3bet just the minimum, which pretty much declares that his hand wasn't very strong, so I happily 4bet shoved when it was folded around to me. I was really surprised when he eventually called, and was lucky enough to see that he had 88 and I was an 82% favourite to get a big stack just before the bubble, which I could then go on and rape in a table full of nits. He flopped quads and my ME was over. That was really tough after such a disastrous Vegas summer.

      By the way, here's a really stupid ICM dilemma from a recent $22 freezeout I won. I just 3bet TaxxIdriVER in the previous hand and he folded. He's Swedish, knows I'm scandi too and seems competitive. He came into the final table as a massive chipleader, I've been running people over since. The UTG limper is a mega fish beyond belief. In the first hand of the FT he limp/called a 13BB shove (both had the same stack) from MP with A7o. He's limped a lot since and never folded to raises no matter how big they've been. I have no doubt he would snap off with his entire range even if I shoved right here. TaxxIdriVER knows this. Given UTG's stack he can't be very wide here obv, he's probably like A9+ KQ+ 55+ or something. He must be frustrated with me, and I'm really worried he might just go "**** him I'll shove" with pairs and stuff here.

      Payouts: 1st $1610, 2nd $945, 3rd $560, 4th $420, I lost 5 & 6 unfortunately.

      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      6 Players

      UTG AVANCE505050 (117k)
      UTG+1 TaxxIdriVER (422k)
      CO FishinJoela (194k)
      BTN Hero (428k)
      SB nixon8919 (162k)
      BB bonchii (60k)

      Blinds: 5k/10k Ante 1k

      Pre-Flop: (21k, 6 players) Hero is BTN K :heart: A :spade:
      AVANCE505050 calls 10k, TaxxIdriVER raises to 35k, 1 fold, Hero?

      Without the ICM this would of course be an easy 3bet to about 90k and snap call to a shove. Now it's much more complicated, because it turns out 3bet/calling is actually an ICM disaster given everyone else's stacks:

      If we 3-bet to 90k shorty folds and taxx shoves, we need 57.6% equity to call.
      If we 3-bet to 90k, shorty shoves and taxx isolates, we need
      60% equity vs Taxxi to call (assuming 50% equity for both of us vs the short stack) 58.7% equity vs Taxxi to call (assuming 40% equity for both of us vs the short stack).

      With AKo, we have 57.8% vs top 10%, so 3bet/call can't be good.

      One option is to 3bet shove for 40BBs, which I think is actually okay in this rare scenario (would obviously be terrible without the ICM). If TaxxxiDriver played perfectly he could only call with KK and AA:

      Assuming $300 for 5th and $200 for 6th, if we shove, short stack folds, Taxx has $200 +

      $705.4340 in equity if he folds,
      $0 if he calls and loses,
      $1,111.4250 if he calls and wins

      So he would need 63.47% equity to call (correctly), which means he should only be calling KK+, but he may call wider. Every time he calls wider, his mistake also hurts us, because flipping with these stacks is really bad for both of us ICM-wise. As a conclusion, the best play is probably to flat call, but if we call the UTG limper might shove some % of the time, and Taxx would shove to isolate us about 100% of the time, and we'd have to fold our hand which is underrepped and almost always best. In-game I shoved, which can't be terrible by any means, but given everything I'm still not sure if I like it. (Thanks to 2+2er Randomguy2 for help with ICM calculations).

      It took me an hour to write this and it's now 7AM, so I'm going to head to breakfast now. Until next time, and remember to enjoy the snowstorms! :D
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      I busted EMOP on the 3rd level, second of all players. That wasn't very surprising given my EMOP run, and I made a promise in front of the Finnish bloggers (who posted it online) that I'm never going to play another EMOP in my life. Even if I won a package+flights+hotel I still wouldn't go anywhere near them. They're just so rigged... I'm only half joking.

      The only moderately interesting hand during my two and a half hours of play:

      I have an absurdly spazzy image. I've played approximately 50% of hands in a 10-handed table. I've had a ridiculous card run having AQ,AK,TT,JJ,QQ every other hand and hitting nightmare flops every single time. I've won 1 out of 30 pots all day. So preflop I've been aggro but post I've never done anything past making a c-bet, and I haven't even done a lot of them as most of the time the pots have been like 7-handed and I've had JJ on a board of AKQ or something. I've got 17k left of my original 20k, Villain has about the same. Villain is a good online player who's been loose from lp and tight from ep, we don't have history against each other.

      I raise AJs in EP to 500 at 100/200. Villain flats in MP, gets HU into a flop of T83r. Based on what I've seen of villain he seems very capable of floating and I rarely expect him to fold into my cbet, but I don't see what else I can do so I fire 825 into 1300 anyway. Villain calls rather quickly.

      Turn Q that brings up a backdoor flush draw I don't have. The pot is 2950 and I have 15,5k behind. If I check I believe villain will always bet his floats and the weakest of his showdown value hands such as small pairs. So I check with the intention of check-raising my double gutter. Villain bets 1700 and I c/r to 4250. If he calls I have at least 8 outs plus possible bluff outs. He'd have to commit his stack by shoving so it's going to be hard for him to do that as a bluff or semi-bluff. If stacks were shallower or deeper I wouldn't do this but with these exact stacks I think this is a really good spot, especially because live players are always worried about their *ahem* tournament life and might make some absurdly tight folds.

      I thought this was better as opposed to barreling because I'll get value from his floats that bet the turn, plus won't risk being double floated. Anyway, he shoved and I had to fold, which of course sucks majorly with my equity. Soon after I got it in with overcards and nut flush draw against villain's very strangely played boat, and was drawing dead by the time the money was put in. He donkbet-called a set on 975cc which just doesn't make ANY sense to me. The turn was a 9 which was pretty much the ugliest card in the deck for me, but I had to still get it in with my (supposed) equity because villain had 0 two pair combos in his range on the flop and it was reasonable to believe he wouldn't play a set this way either. I only had PSB behind on the turn, with more than that I would've had to re-evaluate my game plan.

      Today I'm going to play the 220€ side event and probably grind cash PLO for the rest of the night at the casino. I have some female company coming over from Finland tomorrow so I'll probably spend the rest of the weekend at the parties (there's a party held by affiliate people I know from Malta tomorrow and the EMOP players party on saturday) and having quality time with her.
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      I busted the 220€ side event in 20th place when a random monkey called my 16BB shove into a 5x average pot (this was a hyper turbo) with K9o and rivered a 9... my great run in live tournaments continues. I thought I had a huge edge in the tournament, most of the people seemed totally clueless about short-stacked play. They kept opening 3,5xBB with 12xBB stacks and folded to shoves. Oh well, I don't mind getting bad-beated in these micro side events that I'm playing just for fun anyway, I'll save the god-run for a future EPT or WSOP.

      I don't have much to write about in terms of poker right now, but it's 8.30AM and there's nothing to do and I don't want to fire a bunch of online tournaments, because they'd take at least 5 hours and I want to be sunbathing by 11AM. Therefore I thought this would be a good time for some reminiscing.

      These days I'm very professional when it comes to live tournaments. I always travel to location a couple of days early, if I'm jet lagged I'll take melatonin to catch up with a good sleeping schedule, I only eat sushi for the last couple of days before the tournament and I work out like crazy just before the tournament to make sure I'm 100% ready. This hasn't always been the case, though, and I have a couple of hilarious stories to share from my hey day as a degenerate. Back in the day my ego was a lot bigger than it is now, and my attitude towards everything in poker was "the villains are just so lollabad I can take their money whenever I want to, so I don't have to make smart decisions just yet. Therefore let's enjoy life and blow this money on being a baller". In retrospect, that was not very smart. Anyway, I'm going to start a new series called "my top drunken moments in the tournament circuit". Here's part one.

      1) (Allegedly) hijacking a cab, being beat up by policemen and getting robbed @ Unibet Open Portugal

      This was a couple of years ago when the Unibet Opens had just started, I think this was like the 3rd Unibet Open ever played. I had no interest in going, but I got some weird casino freeroll bonus to my Unibet account that was worth 50€ or something. I somehow managed to grind it up to exactly 1650€ playing slots and blackjack, and took that as a sign as there was a banner on the front page of their site promoting the 1650€ Unibet Open Portugal that would take place in a couple of weeks. Without much thought I just transfered the money to my poker wallet and bought in from their software.

      To date I had no live tournament cashes and no tournament experience, so I wasn't exactly looking forward to making any money. But I had a bunch of friends going so I was planning to have a good time at the night clubs. Somehow I managed to build my starting stack of 10k into 77k during day 1A, and I was second in chips from my starting day. The day 1B I had off along with about 10 of my friends was a friday, and I didn't really care about the tournament so I elected to head into the nightlife in Albufeira (a party town 20 kilometres from where the tournament was held) with my friends who had already busted.

      In the beginning the night played out in a pretty standard manner. It wasn't tourist season in Albufeira yet and the bars were relatively empty, so they had sick promotions trying to get people to drink. You could get 1 liter vodka-red bulls for 5€. I remember drinking a lot of them. At some point we ran into a team of Finnish female basketball players who were on a training camp. One of my friends ended up having sex with one of them, only to find out in the morning that she was 16. I concentrated on drinking - I think I was seeing someone at the time and despite my antics of chasing women I've always been loyal in the relationships I've been in - and remember having trouble to form understandable sentences by 10PM or something.

      Then, at some stage, me and a good friend who I shall leave unnamed for his relationship's sake, got an idea to go to a strip club. We didn't know where to find one, so we figured we'd just take a cab. There weren't any taxis in sight, until we noticed one standing in the nearby traffic lights. We waved at the driver but he didn't seem to notice us, so we ran into his cab. I entered from the rear right door and my friend from the rear left. We just hopped in... only to land on top of some very freaked out 60-year-old English tourists. The taxi driver seemed to think that we were somehow trying to rob the cab (there was a light on top of the cab that said "occupied" which we were too drunk to notice), and he got off the cab and waved at a police car that was standing behind him at the traffic lights. We were too drunk to be able to get off the cab so the cops came and lifted us up and beat us to the ground. They beat us up with some kind of metal sticks - local policeman policy I guess - but eventually let us go without taking us to the station or anything. I think they realised that we were just dumb drunk tourists instead of actual robbers so they decided to just beat us up instead of giving us a fine. I had my back bruised for like two weeks after this.

      Anyway, after the cops left it was still early and we were still drunk, so in true Finnish style we were like "what the hell, let's keep drinking!". By this point we had lost our friends, but it didn't matter so we just headed to the first bar we saw and ordered a ton of drinks.

      The night went on, I think we eventually even went to a strip club, and finally we noticed that the sun was getting up and it was about 6 in the morning. We were about to get a taxi to our hotel when I noticed a homeless dog lying in the street. I'm a big dog lover (and I mean that in a totally non-sexual way) and decided to buy him a hot dog from a nearby 7-eleven. At the same time my friend decided he needs to take a leak somewhere, and as we were in a somewhat open street, he chose to go to an alley behind the 7-eleven. I bought the hot dog and started feeding it to the, err, dog. The last thing I remember is hearing a noise that sounded like "whammm" and feeling severe pain in my head. I woke up from the street 15 minutes later with my head bleeding and my wallet and cell phone stolen. My friend who had been taking a leak had also been robbed at knifepoint, and he ran away unaware of me being robbed as well.

      So there I was, my head bleeding in another town with no money and no cell phone, 6 hours from the start of day two. I didn't know what to do so I boarded a cab and just told him to drive to my hotel, not informing him that I had no money. I don't think I really had a clear plan at this point, I just wanted to get to that hotel where all the people I knew were staying. When we got there, I explained him the situation, but of course he was a 70-year-old portuguese gentleman who didn't speak a word of English. I tried to explain him slowly that I'm going to get the money from my friends and come back to pay him, but he didn't understand. Eventually I just got up and ran to the hotel from the front entrance and he followed trying to chase me. This must have looked good to the hotel staff. I didn't know the room numbers of any of my friends, so I just randomly knocked on everyone's door in the second floor, yelling "VITTTUUUU!!! APUAAAAA!!!" (FUCK!!!!! HELP!!!!! in Finnish), knowing that if anyone Finnish happened to live in that floor he'd open the door. Luckily enough one of the first doors opened and it belonged to the Finnish country manager, who'd spent the whole night sleepless because of food poisoning. He must have been delighted to see me. Thank God he paid the taxi driver, and I was able to go get my head stitched and finally go to sleep.

      When I woke up 4 hours later I was SO hungover. My body was aching all over, my head, my back, even my legs from all the running. But I had no choice but to go and play. There were 200 runners left in the tournament and we played all the way down to the final table... which I managed to make despite my condition. That was the longest day in my life, we played for 15 hours but it sure felt like a week. In the final day I got coolered being the first one out, and ended up winning just 9k€. That covered the trip's expenses, and turned out to be a nice profit from the original 50€ casino bonus. On the minus side, it took me two weeks to recover when I got back home.

      Part two coming later...
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      And, just to add some poker content as well, here's a couple of more or less interesting MTT hands with analysis: This is from the $22 rebuy which I final tabled. Man I got berated so hard for making this laydown, although (ahem, results oriented) it appears to be a good one. Spidey senses IMO. This must have been the first time in my life when I flop top two and fold without committing a cent to the pot. from the 11r FT, I really love my sizing here both pre and post. I was going to 3bet shove if he made a normal sized CR, but since he's apparently a push/folding SNG donkey who doesn't know how to play over 15BB deep I had to fold... oh well. It's actually close to neutral cEV to call here, but because of ICM it's a clear fold. Still, one of these days I'm going to snap him off just because I can and bust his balls hitting a flush on the river. And then I'm going to berate him in the chat so hard, and rub the $2000 the winner gets on ma titties. Just found this going through hands, what the FUCK am I doing not 3betting pre?!?!??? On the flop it's kind of a lol spot, no idea what to do so I guess I just fold against a pf 3x'er. But seriously, I had no idea I was this bad at teh pokers. From the FT bubble vs. an overly aggressive reg... easy peasy, I'm actually loving my sizing and everything about this hand. I really think he's check-raising like his whole flatting range on a flop of that texture, knowing that I can't really jam that light... or can I? What a retarded 3bet shove by villain, this is why flatting big pairs is good sometimes.

      And finally, 5bet bluffing into 2 people:

      My HEM died along with my laptop so no hh. How I think it went:

      Stars $55, like 20 people left, 7-handed. Winner gets 9k. The table has been really aggro and I have a relatively tight image. I was also sitting out for 30 minutes at some point as my computer died, so I might appear very tight in their huds. UTG knows I'm 2+2, I'm not sure if he knows how much I spew.

      Avg: ~100k

      UTG: 190k
      Hero (UTG+1) 160k
      BTN: 220k

      UTG raises to 4,3k. I misclick flat 7 :heart: 3 :heart: . BTN 3bets to 14,1k. UTG 4bets to 33k.

      BTN is super laggy and clearly the so called table captain. His 3bet% is like 20-25.
      UTG is a very good reg who knows how laggy the BTN is, and might easily be 4bet bluffing as it leaves BTN in a ****ty spot, as he's leaving 157k behind knowing BTN can't call and stacks suck for shoving.

      Now I... shove for 155k, repping KK-AA somewhat credibly, because I could easily flat it there since it's a super aggro table. The question is, what the heck can they call this with given my line?
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      I had a pretty good time partying last weekend. I won my lifetime biggest coin flip for $11k. It took place drunk (naturally) at my friends' Portomaso villa's kitchen floor at 5AM.

      The last couple of days I've been pretty much just recovering from a monster hangover, the internet here is so crap I still can't grind. But that's ok actually, after grinding almost non-stop for an entire year (the longest I've spent without grinding in 2010 is 5 days I think and I've had two or three periods of 3+ days off) this is much needed. Tomorrow I have one more day off and then on Thursday I'm playing the $1650 GSOP. After that I have no clue what I'm going to do for the rest of the year. There's Unibet Open London, EPT Prague, and then PCA in the beginning of January. Hmm. The only thing I know for sure is that I'm going to go to Africa by the end of the year as I lost a side bet against a poker friend: the loser has to visit an African country by the end of 2010 or he's going to have to pay 2010 euros to the other. I think the easiest way to do this is to buy flights to Malaga and take a ferry to Morocco, but let's see what I come up with.
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      I played the $1650 GSOP Malta the day before yesterday, and it didn't offer anything new. I busted before dinner break with basically no chance of making a deep run. I lost a few chips of my stack in the first hand and I never even made it back to the starting stack. This live run is seriously starting to bother me as it seems impossible to hit any flops or get any kind of starting hands at all. The few times I do hit something my opponents always have me outflopped. Of course a live tournament only lasts a few hundred hands, so the run is LONG, but still - it's so frustrating to play tournament after another with no hope of making it deep with the kind of run I'm having.

      I pretty much lost my stack in four hands. I thought I lost the absolute minimum in all of them expect maybe #3, but it doesn't help to be able to preserve chips if you never get any hands to actually *win* chips with.

      1) In the first level I raise to 150 with KJo from the CO. BTN, SB and BB all call.

      Flop AJ9r (600)
      Check x4

      Turn J, bingo! (600)
      SB bets 300, BB calls, I raise to 1125, BTN folds, SB thinks and calls, BB folds.

      River 8 (3150) SB checks and I assume I'm value betting against his JT/QJ/Ax when I bet 1850. He calls and it turns out he has a weirdly played 99 for a full house.

      2) This must be the weirdest hand in a long time but it's pretty sick I didn't go broke here. A really, really active Finnish player opens to 300 from UTG at 50/100, a guy in MP calls and I flat my BB with 33.

      Flop 223r (950)

      I check, UTG bets 625, MP folds and I wonder what I should do. The thing is that this particular player was so loose that his UTG range isn't anywhere near a typical UTG range. If I check-call it looks like my hand is pretty weak and with his aggression frequency I expect him to 3-barrel a lot, as most of my flop calling range should fold to 2 or 3 barrels. If I raise, the plus side is that I'm repping really thin and chances are he won't believe me and will try some kind of floats, but I had a pretty tight image so I elected to just check-call. This way I rep a ton of stuff like weak pairs and Ax which I'm sure he will try to barrel me off from.

      Turn 4 (2200)
      I check and he quickly bets 1500. In retrospect this is pretty hilarious, but I remember having a great live read about him having an almost certain bluff based on his timing and bet sizing. Therefore I decide to maximize value against his 3-barreling range and just check-call again...

      River 7 (5200)
      I check and he almost pots it for 5000. I don't think I can check-shove this, because if he has an overpair he's going to fold (as my line is never a bluff and I can't value bet worse). I call expecting to see a bluff a lot or win against 88+. He shows 44 for a turned bigger boat and I grin at myself for not busting in this hand, but at the same time wonder if I played the hand wrong.

      3) Pretty soon after the previous hand I raise to 525 in early position with QJs at 100/200/25 and BB only calls.

      Flop Q64 with a flush draw I don't have (1400)
      Check, I bet 900, villain calls

      Turn 6 (3200)

      River 7
      He bets 2000. Based on his appearance I'm almost sure he has me beat, but then again he could have a missed flush draw or he could be value betting worse, so I talk myself into calling. He of course turns over KQ.

      4) Finally I only have 7k left at 100/200/25. A tight villain opens from EP, gets flatted by MP and I have QJs in the BB. If I had like 25BBs I'd just shove but with my stack I can't really do anythig but call.

      Flop T96r (1925)
      I check with the intention of check-shoving, but it gets checked around.

      Turn J that brings a flush draw I don't have (1925)
      I bet 1150, the opener calls and the other villain raises to 3500. I make my first good live read of the day and manage to fold despite having TP+oesd with a really short stack. The other two end up getting to showdown and it turns out I was drawing virtually dead against his KQ.

      I finally busted when I made a very standard 20BB 3bet shove with QJo vs a HJ open at 150/300/25. He woke up with QQ and I didn't manage to make an epic suckout.

      I've been really ill for the last few days, and I was having a 38,5c fever for all of GSOP, so I also wasn't playing my best due to that. I'm flying home tomorrow after two weeks in Malta. In December I'm going to grind like an animal and win at least 10k. In my next post I'm going to talk about the 100k challenge with side bets I've set up. It begins in just a few days, it'll sure be interesting :)
    • cojonel
      Joined: 02.07.2008 Posts: 1,039
      very nice reading!keep writing
    • Arnolde89
      Joined: 03.05.2009 Posts: 1,943
      nice, blog- you are Chuck Bass at 2+2 right?
    • DannyG13
      Joined: 28.10.2009 Posts: 1,160
      Originally posted by Arnolde89
      nice, blog- you are Chuck Bass at 2+2 right?
      Originally posted by MiikkaAnttonen
      My name is Miikka Anttonen, and some of you may also know me as Chuck Bass at the 2+2 mid and high stakes MTT forums.

      Awesome blog btw, brilliantly written. :)
    • Arnolde89
      Joined: 03.05.2009 Posts: 1,943
      I feel...empty now

      I would enter a facepalming pic here, but Im too crushed. how big of a fail is that btw? :s_confused: :s_confused:

      tell us about the challenge, and lets pretend this question never happened
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      So, who would've thought that the two best records of 2010 would be rap albums? Certainly not me, as I pretty much hate hip-hop in all forms (I'm an indie pop / singer-songwriter kind of a guy, you know, the type that listens to Bright Eyes and cries when masturbating). However, there's no doubt in my mind that two records stood out from everything else this year. The second best album of the year was Big Boi's Sir Luscious Left Foot: Son Of Chico Dusty. You should check it out. I liked Outkast, but for some reason I always got the vibe that Andre 3000 was the creative force behind all their great songs. Sir Luscious Left Foot goes on to point the exact opposite.

      The album of the year is one crazy mix of different stuff. It includes samples of Justin Bieber and church choirs and Black Sabbath's Iron Man . It's the greatest hip-hop record I've ever heard. It's so good that it scored the next-to-impossible 10.0 at Pitchfork. They rate something like 2000 records a year, and they give a record 10.0 every three or four years. Actually, I don't think that they've given 10.0 to a single record after Radiohead's (my favourite band Kid A in 2000. Surely there must be some others, but I can't remember them. ANYWAY. The record I'm talking about is, as you probably already guessed, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

      I'm not enough of a music critic to be able to explain why exactly it's such a great record. Just youtube "Monster", or "Runaway", or any other of the great songs in the album and you'll now. I think "Monster" is the high point of the album. It contains the most absurd lyrics of all time, such as "Have you ever had sex with a pharaoh / I put the pussy in a sarcophagus". And it's got Nicki Minaj stealing the show with her hilarious 30-second guest stint. Check it out.

      Kanye's success is inspirational to me, as a year back I was in a very similar situation with Kanye. The famous Taylor Swift incident had just happened and the whole world seemed to hate him. Even Barack Obama, the president he had campaigned for, called him a jackass. Everyone knew it would take one hell of a comeback album from him to get his career back on track.

      At the same time I was 20k in debt and $1500 was about all I had. The whole poker community in Finland was spitting in my face. I had no choice but to work my ass off and become one of the best in business quick. A year later that $1500 has grown into close to $100k and I'm ranked in the top 10 online tournament players in my country. I'm 15th at the Cardplayer Finnish Live Player of the year rankings as well. With my three aliases combined I'm the 21st biggest winner at the Ongame network this year out of 183 000 players. I was asked to become a coach at PokerStrategy, an offer I happily accepted. It's not exactly making the best album of the year, but it's good enough.

      Looking at 2011, I have two goals. The first one is to have a succesful WSOP and to final table a large live tournament. The second is to have a blast online and set an example to Pokerstrategy members. I intend to absolutely rape the games at every network I play in, win some serious titles and net a six-figure sum. But I want to do this from the down up, so fellow Pokerstrategists can follow my example and do this too. And with this unnecessarily long speech, I present you:

      (continued in my next post)
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      $2k ---> $100k challenge

      This has actually been going on for a few days already, as I launched it at the Finnish PS forums last Sunday, but I've been so busy playing and recording PS videos and having quick meetings with a certain member of the opposite sex that I haven't had the time to translate it into English. I was planning to update this daily in English as well, but after four days I can already say with full confidence that it's not going to happen. Weekly updates is all you're going to get unless you learn Finnish. I just don't have the time. Sorry.

      Anyway, as the headline suggests, this challenge is about turning $2000 into $100k in 12 months by playing online MTTs only. I've booked over $10k of side action at 1:1 odds (not open for more betting, sorry). I must follow bankroll management. I'm allowed to take shots (as long as they're not going to affect the final results too much, as in I can't take a shot at the 5k WCOOP towards the end of the year if I'm halfway there), but for the most time I must maintain 100 buy-in bankroll managament. I'm starting with a bankroll of $2000 spread across six different sites:

      Ongame $500
      Microgaming $200 $400
      iPoker $300
      UB $300
      Partypoker $300

      In the beginning I'm going to play everything from $11 to $33 freezeouts and $3 rebuys to $5 rebuys. Once I reach about $4000, I'm going to start taking shots at $54 freezeouts and $11 rebuys.

      A couple of extra things that need to be pointed out:

      -In the middle of the challenge there's a one-month period when I'm not allowed to play online poker at all. Therefore the challenge runs from 29.11.2010 to 15.6.2011 and then from 15.7.2011 to 31.12.2011. This is for the WSOP, as I'll be in Vegas and you're not allowed to play at the euro sites from the U.S. If this was an endurance kind of a thing where I'm supposed to grind shitloads in terms of volume, one could argue that the one-month break would work in my favour. However this is not, as I only intend to play 4 days a week anyway, so I don't see it being a problem. All the bettors obviously agreed to this.

      -All my MTT games are included unless otherwise mentioned. However I am allowed to play whatever I want to outside my bankroll as long as I mention it beforehands and profits/losses are not included in the challenge. I don't want to miss major tournaments because of this, so I'll probably still be playing the large buy-in GSOP's, WCOOP's, SCOOP's etc outside the challenge. Any extra tournaments I play of course work in the favour of bettors, as it'll be time away from the grind.

      -Live tournaments or satellites to live tournaments don't count. If I want to, I can play satellites to live tournies or just buy in into them, but again profits/losses don't count.

      -Same for cash games.

      -Rakeback and bonuses are included in the profits but are not expected to form more than a few per cent of them.

      -I am allowed to play satellites to online tournaments, and if I win tickets to Sunday majors or other large tournaments, the winnings count towards the challenge.

      So that's the rules, but that's not the important part. What's cool about this is *how* I'm going to do this.

      (continued in my next post)
    • arisko
      Joined: 23.09.2009 Posts: 392
      hate cliffhangers...

      That coinflip for 11$k that you mentioned earlier, was that an actual coin toss or an all in 50/50?

      Probably the best blog right now, love the long updates and the stories are top notch

      This challenge will be really exciting, lets hope u can keep up updating in both communities frequently
    • MiikkaAnttonen
      Joined: 08.09.2007 Posts: 815
      I've lately come to realise that there are many things I've kept doing wrong. Not necessarily the stuff I do when I play, as most of the decisions in MTTs are kind of automatic and I'm pretty good at getting it right these days, but the stuff outside the grind. Here are a few changes I'm going to make to ensure I reach an ROI as high as possible.

      1) Surfing in the internet is not allowed when I play anymore. It's pretty crazy, but often when I have less than 10 tables running (I usually play about 20 at the same time) I chat on facebook, write emails, surf at the poker forums, etc. I get bored too easily with less than 10 tables. However, now I'm going to focus on the tables 100 per cent even if I had just a few tables running. This will help me concentrate better and form more accurate reads.

      Expected effect on ROI: +1-2%

      2) Having a day-to-day tournament schedule. I'm going to register into all of my tournaments before I start playing. When I start I already know exactly what I'm going to play and when my day ends. This way I'll get familiar with the small nuances in the structures of each tournament and will be able to make strategically better decisions. I won't run into having too many or too little tournaments running at a certain time, as if this happens I'll notice it and can simply adjust the program. Here's my schedule that I'm going to use for starters:

      Never mind the top row, it's in Finnish. Apart from that I think it speaks for itself.

      Expected effect on ROI: +1-3%

      3) I'm going to have a notepad document called pokerdiary.doc on the side all the time when I play. I'm going to write down feelings, notes and notifications while playing. I'm going to write down what time I started and finished each session. If I feel unsure about some spot, I'm going to copy-paste the hand number into it to look at it later. I'm going to write down if I feel hungry or tired. If I sense some certain tournament doesn't feel good for my style in terms of too small antes or whatever, I'll write it down. Basically I'll write down anything that makes me even slightly unsure about either my play or my condition, so I can look at it later and adjust. Looking at this after enough of a sample I'll see if I for example always do bad at the first or last tournaments, and then I can track the reason down. For example, maybe I underperform in the beginning and/or the end because I'm too full of food due to eating lunch just before starting to play or because my sessions are too long and I get tired towards the end. Etc. Basically, instead of just shrugging off any negative feelings or doubts I'm going to write them down, and then shortly get rid of them.

      Expected effect on ROI: +3-5%

      4) Prepatation and sleeping schedule. For the three years of my poker career I've never maintained a sleeping schedule. Sometimes I'd wake up at 9PM and sometimes at 9AM. I'd play sessions round the clock sometimes. But now, since I have a tournament schedule, I need to have a sleeping schedule as well. I'm going to go to bed by 4AM and wake up at 1PM every day. When I wake up I'm always going to eat breakfast and hit the gym before I do anything else. Then I'll prepare food for the night and the session (or order take-off as usual), run whatever errands I have and reply to emails etc. I'm also going to ensure I have enough snacks close to my computer such as protein bars, fruits and nuts. I'm going to make sure that I always have enough time for everything else so I won't feel rushed during the day, but also won't miss my first tournaments. I want to make sure there's nothing else in my mind when I play (so I also must take care of all communication with the female(s) in my life before playing).

      Expected effect on ROI: +1-2%.

      5) I'm going to have a check list I'm going to go through every time before I start my session. I haven't come up with all the parts yet, but it's going to include stuff like:

      -Have you eaten?
      -Are you feeling rested?
      -Do you have food in the fridge you can easily heat during a session?
      -Have you taken your vitamins?
      -Is there anything you need to take care of before starting to play or anything stressing you?

      If there's a single thing worrying me or something I haven't done, I'm going to take care of it before starting to play at the cost of losing some of the first tournaments. I want to make sure I play my absolute best every time I play.

      Expected effect on ROI: +1-2%

      6) I'm going to see the whole picture. The 100k challenge is going to be beneficial for me for the reason that it's going to plug one of my biggest leaks: often late in the day I have one really deep run and I'm close to cashing big in one tournament. Then I have a few lower buy-in ones where I'm like 100 spots off the money and I finish them off with some dumb 4bet bluff shove or something. With the challenge I realise that everything counts, and it's all about making correct decisions after another. I'm not going to allow myself to do anything stupid. I'm going to write something like this down on a paper slip and read it every time before I start playing for motivation:

      "By playing 20 days a month you'll invest $20400 worth of tournament buy-ins, so with an ROI of 50% you're going to win $10200 a month plus rakeback. That should be easy as a pie as long as you don't do anything stupid. Remember that poker is a great opportunity, and you're so privileged to be where you are already. Look at things a month at a time, not on a daily basis. Remember that every decision affects your ROI. Don't tilt. As long as you don't tilt, and only remember the monthly earnings, you'll win over $10k a month easily. That's $120k+ over a year's course. That'll win this challenge. That's more than politicians make in your country. Remember to breathe. Remember that being outdrawn is a part of poker. Every time your opponents do something stupid and win your chips because of that, remember that in the long run you'll still bust them way more often. Remember that your profit depends on handling all different scenarios. Remember to be professional".

      The better I have this in mind when making every decision, the better I'll be playing. That's why it's important to go through it before every session, to set myself in the right state of mind to begin with.

      Expected effect on ROI: +1-2%

      7) Studying. After each session I'm going to set my alarm clock to ring after exactly 45 minutes. I'm going to spend that 45 minutes studying: posting hands on 2+2, talking to other MTT beasts on msn or skype, watching videos, etc. I'll probably be watching videos a lot more as I tend to watch them on my laptop just before going to bed, but the point here is to make sure I study *at least* three hours a week (4x 45 minutes).

      Estimated effect on ROI: +3-5%.

      8) I'm going to meditate whenever I feel the need to, preferably before every session, and I'm going to hit the gym at least four times a week. I'll try to drink only once a week, but I'll allow myself to slip sometimes.

      Estimated effect on ROI: +1-2%

      There's probably going to be a few more points, but these are the ones I'm going to start off with. If these sound like hard work, remember it's only four days a week. The other three I'm going to enjoy life to the max and do other stuff.

      I'm going to update the challenge weekly and post a ton of hands. Also, my first strategy article will be out here at in exactly two weeks (I just heard from my boss today).