Bryans steps program

    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      I was delighted to see that Full Tilt have started doing a steps program to the world series.

      I am a fan of the excellent steps program on Pokerstars, but the lowest priced step is normally $7.50 or thereabouts, which was just too high from my low BR most of the time. They have steps to a number of events, and I hope that Full Tilt go down the same route too. Full Tilt have $3.30 as their lowest buy-in, which is more realistic for my current BR. They have a $1 buy-in, but I will dismiss that in my comments below.

      For anyone not familiar with the steps program, what I like about it, is that it gives you a shot at really big money, from a small BR such as mine, without having to enter a tourney with half a million entrants, which requires you to have a week off work to complete it, only to just miss out on a seat, and get a consolation prize of about $2 for finishing in the last 1000.

      OK I may have exagerated slightly above for comedic effect, but the steps program is all about single table sng play. At no stage do you ever face more than 8 opponents at a time. I could go on, but the post is getting too long already, so look up the rules yourself and have fun, as I am not on commision for plugging them.

      OK, last night,

      Played $1 which was just starting. Discovered I started with 300 chips, with blinds at 10/30, and had 99 opponents, so it was basically a crapshoot. Don't get involved in this nonesense unless you just want a bit of fun, or are really short in the BR dept.

      Next I entered a step 1 tourney, the proper start point, for $3 +30, and you only get eliminated if you don't finish in the top 5 of 9. The lower placings only give you another shot at level 1, but still, it's a big cushion. This was more like it. Top 2 places advance to step 2, and I acheived this at the first attempt.

      TODAY
      Got too tired last night, and the beauty of the steps program, is that you win a ticket, to use whenever it suits you. So I played it when I was fresh this morning. I was doing well enough, biding my time entering very few pots, when my golden opportunity came with pocket tens. My raise got two callers, and I flopped a set. I was raised, so I re-raised all-in, no messing, he folded, but the third guy (clearly an imbecile) called me with AJ, and against all odds, had hit a straight by the river, and I was eliminated from the program.

      I intend to play these on a fairly regular basis, from profits whenever possible, so my BR is not too adversely affected. Pokerstars have steps programs to various events and not just the wsop, and I hope that Full Tilt go down the same route, as despite my misgivings about the late stages of sng's being a bit bingoish, this has to be the best way of trying to spin a few dollars up to a wsop main event seat.

      Score so far:

      Attempts: 1
      Highest level acheived: 2

      Watch this space

      All the best
      Bryan
  • 23 replies
    • LetchLord
      LetchLord
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2009 Posts: 1,353
      Good luck with that, Bryan

      I've tried the steps on Full Tilt too and the 9-man turbo SNGs are sooo easy. A few players almost always bust at the beginning, so most of the times you are freerolling for the first 2 places. I guess the upper steps will be tougher though. Also, you can use steps level 3 or higher to buy into MTTs or SNGs with equal buy in. I've seen some members, playing the $26 Matrix SNGs to boost their bankrolls. I intend to use a step 3 ticket to play in the 1st event of the MiniFTOPs and some other MTTs with a bigger prize pool.

      All The Best!
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      Thanks so much for that info Letchlord. I knew that was possible on Pokerstars, but I couldn't see anything that said that was possible on Full Tilt. Now you have brought my attention to it, I will have a closer look.

      I haven't played the turbos, as I don't normally like Turbo sng's, because of the crapshoot aspect of them. I may check them out though.

      I don't know anything about Matrix sng's at all, but playing $26 ones sounds exciting.

      Thanks again. Food for thought.

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      The more I thought about Letchlords post, the more it appealed, and I have decided to focus on the steps program for the time being.

      In a nutshell, beginning with last nights session, and entry to $3 step 1:

      Following one bad call on my part, which resulted in me being short-stacked, I found myself with just 500 chips remaining, yet fought back to become the chip leader, and ultimately, won my step 2 ticket.

      Unfortunately got knocked out of the step 2. However, on reading that I could check my ticket status anytime in cashier, I looked out of interest, and discovered I still had a step 2 ticket available. I wasn't sure why, but wondered if I had won it in a previous session and not played it. Unlikely, but how else?

      When I logged off, and checked my BR I was at first furious to see I had been charged a level 2 entry fee as well as level 1, and my BR was down to $130. I have thought it through, rather than get straight on to Full Tilt accusing them of robbing me, and have concluded that I must have mistakenly registered by clicking on the money instead of the tourney ticket button. Doh.

      Anyway, that gave me another shot at level 2, which I played. I went out on the step 3 bubble, for another step 2 ticket, following a major suckout. To be fair though, I had done a major suckout earlier on the same guy, but what a time to get his revenge !

      Played step 2 yet again, and my all-in shoves were twice called by AA by the same player (though I actually won the 2nd one), I did however, go out in 4th for yet another step 2 ticket !!

      At this point I went to bed.

      This morning:

      Just played the step 2 and, following a final 3 bubble that turned into a marathon session,where we were all fairly equal it seemed on skill/aggression (I say this on impression, as I don't run any tracking software) and eventually my two opponnents got it all in, and I watched as one was eliminated and I got through to a step 3 ticket.

      I am now looking at entering one of the matrix tourneys that Letchlord spoke of, to try to build my BR again. I didn't realise this involved playing 4 at once, and have never played these things before.

      I will let you guys know how I go on in my next post, as I am not sure whether I am playing it now or later.

      All the best
      Bryan
    • LetchLord
      LetchLord
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2009 Posts: 1,353
      Hey Brian,

      Congratz for winning that step 3 ticket. The thing with the matrix tournaments is that the prize pool is split into 5 portions - 4 of them are for each of the SNGs you'll play and the 5th one is for the players that make the most points (knock outs and survivals). I actually tried a couple of the $24+$2 Matrix tournaments and they seem to be pretty tough. Out of 2 matrix SNGs * 4 tourneys each, I only managed to get a 3rd place of all SNGs. I'll try again though, to see if I've just had the bad side of the variance as 8 tourneys is not a good sample size.

      Wish you a better luck if you decide to try these...
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      Sorry to hear your results were not good initially Letchlord, I have just finished playing my first, and it went very well. I have to say though, I have divided thoughts on these.

      Don't be hard on yourself about your results on a small sample, as I think they are the most apalling crapshoots. I don't like them at all from the poker point of view, as the fast structure means they turn into all-in fests. Some of the hands I saw reminded me of the one and only time I went in a live tourney with unlimited re-buys. I was in a casino, and the poker was about as skilful as if I had gone on the roulette in the other room. At least it was in the early stages, and I didn't get beyond that, having lost 6 all-ins in a row, with the best starting hand in almost every one. I just got up and left, wanting no further part in it.

      Tonight, I tried to play the best I could under the circumstances, trying to be the shover rather than the caller as often as possible, and trying to adjust my range according to my stack size etc, but the action was frantic, and, as with all these things was purely down to luck on how many coin tosses you win.

      That aside, I still love the original idea which you enlightened me to, as I managed to turn my few dollar buy-in to $43.20.

      I got a 3rd place and two 2nd places out of 4 matches, plus a 3rd place overall in the matrix, giving me total returns of $43.20. My initial investment to step 1 would normally be $3 giving a nice healthy profit.

      I know what my chip stacks were at one stage of the tourney, and thought I may well end up with nothing, so am under no illusions that I will get a similar return on my investment every time. However, at $3 a throw you don't need to get a return of $43 very often to be quids in.

      I will be giving this a good trial, as it has great potential. Also, if I can use these to build a BR, I can then use that to play in proper poker games.

      BR = $173.46

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi there,

      Just played a step 1 for $3 but got knocked out. Am a little annoyed with myself at the way I went out, as I could have held on and almost certainly got at least another step 1.

      Two players were very short stacked. I know that in the late stage lottery of all-ins that doesn't necessarily mean they are finished, but there was every chance - with 2 already gone - that these two would go out, giving me at least 5th place.

      I was prepared to not get involved without a really good hand/situation. As it was, I got dealt KQs, and followed an early limper by risking limping myself. Amazingly, everyone just limped, the blinds were big, and the pot was huge. The last person to act shoved all-in. I had seen him do this on a number of occasions already, in what were almost certainly steals. I figured this was just such a golden opportunity for him to steal a big pot against limpers, that my KQs was ahead of his range and I would probably be heads up, so I called.

      Of course he had KK and knocked me out. I had weighed up the pros and cons and in many similar situations I would have been right, but at the end of the day, I too was lured by the chance of a huge pot won and the chip lead, whereas I had taken a gamble I didn't need to take, and sacrificed an almost certain free ticket for another shot.

      Oh well, we live and learn.

      Am going to work now, but hopefully will be playing another one as soon as I get the opportunity.

      BR = $170.16

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      HI there,

      Just played another session of step 1's.

      Got knocked out of the first one, when not running well, and shoved with nut flush draw with a suited Ace. The fact I had raised and bet every street and was called by a guy with nothing but a small pair, I will let go. He had small connectors that hit a pair.

      Anyway, fired another one up straight away, which proved to be a a very tough table, which I was a bit surprised about. This part was supposed to be the easy part !

      Anyway, I managed 4th place, for another shot at a step 1. I am going back out to work now, but may play the step 1 later if I am not too tired. Otherwise, will play it tomorrow.

      BR = $164.87

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi again,

      Last nights late session didn't go as well as I would have liked.

      First attempt at step 1 I was knocked out when playing my QQ agressively on a harmless looking board, but was knocked out by a guy who had seen fit to call my pot sized bet pre-flop with multiple opponents, holding 10/2 which hit a miracle two pair on the flop.

      2nd attempt I can probably blame myself. Made some silly mistakes. Was I maybe tilting from the last one?

      Finally, on checking the lobby, there was a 3-table step 1 with 18 runners almost full, so I entered that for the same price. You had to finish in the top 10 to get a replay, or top 4 to move up to step 2.

      Why I thought entering this was a good idea, I am not sure, but it was, as I ended up in the last 4 and winning a step 2 ticket. Went to bed 3 buy-ins light.

      Just logged on, and tables filling very slowly, but an 18 person one just ready to go, so I have entered it, and in the early stages am doing well.

      Will post result afterwards, but structure slightly different. I need the top 8 minimum, for step 1, 7-8th step 1, 6th step 2, top 5 to advance to step 3.

      BR = $158.27

      All the best, must concentrate now,
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi again

      Update to last blog. Just finished playing it. A bit frustrated, as, although I acheived another step 2 ticket, I went out on the step 3 ticket bubble.

      I was pleased with my timing on when to shove using ICM principles as well as I remember them. However, on the fateful hand, I was 2nd to lowest chip stack, but had about 2500 to the lowest stacks 1400 or so to my left, with <10bb.

      My shoves were mostly getting through uncontested, as I am sure my opponents knew I was shoving infrequently and picking my spots good. So I got dealt the dreaded AK. I had to shove through 3 opponents including the short stack. AK is definitely a good hand for shoving in these late stages, but my short stack opponents need to shove was greater than mine, and he was likely to shove and get eliminated soon, so I could wait.

      It's one of those situations I had to choose, and, though my opponent was in a worse situation, I have chosen to wait it out in similar situations before, only to see my opponent shove and double up leaving me the short stack, and getting dealt garbage every hand afterwards.

      On balance I felt I shouldn't waste AK against opponents who had folded to me a lot anyway.

      I actually got through the whole field until the biggest stack, who was last to act, woke up with QQ. My two live cards missed, and I went out on the bubble.

      Its debatable whether I did right or wrong, but on reflection, and as I write it, I think the aggressive approach was the right thing to do. Had I folded and the aforementioned scenario had occured, leaving me short and waiting for a hand, I would have been cursing myself for not taking the initiative when dealt AK.

      Anyway, have to get ready for work now, and looking forward to playing another step 2 later, having come so close just now.

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi folks,

      Back again with another update.

      Just played my step 2 ticket, and ballsed it up completely. Why do I have games like this still? After lengthy battles to get this far, I basically blew it all on two stupid pots, undoing all the previous hard work to get there.

      Maybe it's because I am on a break from work on a busy day, and know I have to get back out there soon, so I get impatient.

      I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say, I overplayed mediocre holdings, and, short stacked after the first cock-up, I make a bluff shove on another pot, and run into AA. Yeah, impatience was what it was, the more I think about it.

      Oh well, fork out for another step 1, but not now later.

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi there,

      Very quickly, as I am going to bed.

      Played a step 1 and got knocked out, on a table where bad play was rewarded over and over again. One maniac, in particular going all-in with crap and winning everything. I was almost glad to be out of it.

      Entered another one, and won my seat to step 2, following a very long final bubble.

      Will play it tomorrow. Hope for some success soon, as BR starting to dwindle a bit from the knockouts.

      BR = $151.67

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      I've blown it again. Crashed out of the step 2 turbo I just entered. On the final hand I shoved all-in and was called by a worse hand that sucked out on me big time. However, that doesn't excuse the fact that I wouldn't have been the short stack, having to shove to survive if I had not played a couple of big pots badly on previous occasions. That includes losing a third of my stack on the first hand, getting a bit carried away with my AK, which I had re-raised with and was called by 99, who went on to win the pot when I loose called him hoping to hit an A or K and didn't. I should have either re-popped him on the flop or folded, end of.

      That probably unsettled me from the word go.

      Anyway, am not happy with my play in recent events. This was supposed to be the easy part, getting the step 3 ticket, and it certainly went well on my first attempt. The hard part was supposed to be playing the $24 matrix crapshoots and coming away with a profit.

      I started this steps campaign with $130 and currently have just over $150, so am still slightly ahead, but really need to focus on getting some results soon. It's bad enough getting sucked out on and losing, when playing my A game, but losing through my own stupidity is harder to take. Need to focus harder.

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      Just played a step 1 and finished 3rd, going out on the step 2 bubble, when I shoved all-in, and was called by an opponent with 10/3 (well it was suited) and the flop came 10/10/3.

      This was the first time I had moved all-in and had shoved into two opponents, so it was obvious I had a big hand (well AK as it happens). The guy who called me called for his tournament life with all his chips. I don't care whether it was suited or not, anyone who calls my all-in shove with 10/3 should at the very least be made to do community service.

      At least I have another free go at step 1, which is good, as my BR is dwindling too fast for my liking.

      BR = $148.37

      All the best
      Bryan
    • Bidillu
      Bidillu
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.04.2010 Posts: 26
      Thanks Bryan

      I will be following your progress with much interest.

      Wishing you best of fortunes at the tables.
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      Thanks for your post and sipport Bidillu, and good fortune to you too. I am glad this blow by blow diary-type account of my fortunes is interesting to some readers, and hopefully informative, and amusing too.

      Just played my step 1 ticket, and guess what? I now have another step 1 ticket.

      Yes, after a long battle between three of us, I ended up going out on the step 2 bubble, finishing 3rd.

      At least I keep getting another go at no extra cost, as BR has fallen a bit since my initial good result in the matrix.

      BR = $148.37

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi again,

      Played my step 1 and just won a step 2. Going to bed now though. Have decided no more late night poker sessions. I am getting up early in the mornings for work from now on (I work my own hours, self-employed).

      Will play step 2 sometime tomorrow.

      All the best
      Bryan
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All,

      I don't really want to write this post, as I can't believe how stupid I just was.

      Played my hard earned step 2, and threw it away. Min raise late pos with 9J and called a re-raise (bad enough, but almost ok to see a flop with 9J, a good drawing hand).

      Hit top pair on the flop with my 9, on a 9 high board, but my opponent is now betting quite big, so time to let it go, as he obviously has an overpair to the board, right? Well no, actually I have seen so many idiots in the early stages of these tourneys make moves with crap hands, so my opponent - who has shown aggression early on - has now bet so big that he is maybe just trying to shove me off the pot with his garbage, so obviously time for me to come over the top and shove all-in with my top pair.

      Yeah right. He shows KK I don't improve and don't deserve to.

      So I learned my lesson, of course, and started from scratch, firing up another step 1, to play sensibly right? No, I lose a lot of chips again with the same hand!! then compound the error later by again shoving over someone who has me beat, with my nut flush draw, which of course missed, and I have now been knocked out of two tourneys, one of which has cost me money to enter. My BR is dropping rapidly, and I am getting what I deserve for playing like an idiot.

      What the hell makes me do these stupid things when I can play so much better?

      Am going off to do other things now, before I can do any more damage to my BR. This is clearly a day when I should quit whilst I am behind.

      BR = $145.07

      All the best
      Bryan
    • shivas80
      shivas80
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2008 Posts: 573
      question.. does ticket buyin counts for rakeback part? I mean if ticket to step 2 is like: 6$+0.6$ is these 0.6$ countent for rake or no?
    • MAGICBRYAN
      MAGICBRYAN
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.03.2009 Posts: 305
      Hi All

      Thanks for taking the time to read and post a reply shivas80. I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question though. I have checked my strategy points, and Ia still seemed to have been awarded points for playing these (though I can't be sure whether I have been awarded points for every one I play, or just the ones I buy into. As for rake, I don't know. You would be better posting your question on the appropriate forum for rake queries, where someone better able than me can answer you, like a moderator.

      I played last night when drunk after watching Nottingham Forest get knocked out of the playoffs by Blackpool, and can't remember a lot about the action (my poker action that is).

      I seem to remember winning a step 2 ticket, then getting knocked back to a step 1. Tonight, though, like Nottingham Forest, I got knocked out of the replay. I bought into another step 1 which was a 6 max (I don't normally play these) and came 2nd, getting another step 1 (only the winner gets step 2 in these).

      Am going to bed now though, so will play step 1 next time. My BR is nearly back to what it was, having lost most of the money I won on the first attempt at the matrix. I haven't managed to get to step 3 again to have another shot. I can't believe the problems I am having getting to step 3 again.

      BR = $138.47

      All the bst
      Bryan
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