I think I might have found a new favorite game. Well... maybe not favorite, but at least something fun to mix it up a little. I've never been a big fan of satellites and any sort of sit-no-go challenges, but I decided to try out the Tier SNG's on Full Tilt. Signed up for a $6+.50 6-handed Turbo tournament (which I would probably never play standard), and 74 hands and about 25 minutes later had it wrapped up easily with a $26 Token to boot. Definitely had better than average luck with the cards, though didn't get any action on the big starters (AKs, QQ, KK). Just managed to hit solid flops and get a little help on the last hand. Players were overall pretty tight and easy to boss around after building up a slightly larger stack, including the guy to my immediate left that timed out and never returned... made for nice and easy blind steals (another reason that observation is essential... as you pick up on auto-plays). Anyways, here are a few hands to mull over... nothing I'm horribly dissatisfied with though...
First off... weak button limp as the chipleader... I know. Moving on... here I just smelled a weak attempt to take the pot, as if the BB was calling me on position bets that I had been making quite often (though often with at least a solid draw or pair of sorts). Not sure what I would've done if he came back over the top (probably whimpered and called), and perhaps I should've basically put him in to begin with.
Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold'em Tournament, 50/100 Blinds, 5 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter
Hero (BTN): 4,090
Pre-Flop: (150) Td Kc dealt to Hero (BTN)
2 folds, Hero calls 100, SB folds, BB checks
Flop: (250) Ks 2c Js (2 Players)
BB checks, Hero bets 200, BB raises to 400, Hero raises to 1,000, BB folds
Results: 1,050 Pot
Hero mucked Td Kc and WON 1,050 (+550 NET)
Last hand. Nothing out of the ordinary for me here. Any pair and a flush draw (plus gutshot straight / straight flush draw) heads up = get it in.
Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold'em Tournament, 100/200 Blinds, 2 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter
Hero (SB): 6,170
Pre-Flop: (300) 4d 5d dealt to Hero (SB)
Hero calls 100, BB checks
Flop: (400) 7d 8d 5s (2 Players)
BB checks, Hero bets 400, BB raises to 1,400, Hero raises to 5,970 and is All-In, BB calls 1,230 and is All-In
Turn: (5,660) 3s (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
River: (5,660) 9d (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Results: 5,660 Pot
BB showed 7s 3h (two pair, Sevens and Threes) and LOST (-2,830 NET)
Hero showed 4d 5d (a flush, Nine high) and WON 5,660 (+2,830 NET)
Just checked the odds calculator to make sure and I was about 57% vs. 41%. Definitely standard. Now the question is what to do with my $26 Token? Right now I'm leaning towards the Tier Two 18-player SNG, which gives a $75 Token to 1-5 and $57 to 6th place. The $6+.50 Tier One pays $10 to 2nd place by the way. So even not winning ain't all that bad. I think I might just keep playing some of those and try to get a token collection going, maybe squirrel them away for something special. In a way it's kind of fun to be playing for something other than just the straight up cash, though that is certainly the eventual goal. But it does seem like it taps into the videogame aspect of online poker, just like point systems and other types of bonuses. I'm surprised we don't see a lot more of this in online poker... companies trying to appeal to the younger computer-savvy generations of players using videogame type point systems or rewards for completing certain tasks (i.e. leveling up). It could be done fairly cheaply - it's not like you're adding money to tournament prize pools - and give players other objectives rather than just playing to make money. Personally I know one of the things that allows me to look on the bright side of any losing sessions or bubble bust-outs is that I can say "hey, at least I got a few more FTP points and can almost afford that awesome looking mouse pad."
(sigh) ... maybe one of these days. ~ B