Sunday, December 28, 2008

Railing Moneymaker

I was waiting for a tournament to start and didn't have anything to do so I tried to Find a Team PokerStars Pro. There were 5 of them online, Alexandre Gomes, Chris Moneymaker, Humberto Brenes, Lee Nelson and Marcin Horecki.

I was going rail either Moneymaker or Nelson, but Nelson was playing 3 single-table double or nothings so I elected to watch Chris Moneymaker play the Nightly Hundred Grand. I thought I'd try to learn something watching a pro.

He finished outside of the money in that tournament. What I learned was he seldom let his dealer or cut-off position go without a raise if everybody folded to him. But without knowing what his cards are, I really can't say what he's exactly doing. It was just fun railing a pro.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Sunday of 2008

December 28 will be the last Sunday of 2008. This means that it will be the last Sunday Million tournament for the year. As a year-end bonus from PokerStars, guarantees for the Sunday Warm-Up and the Sunday Million have also been increased to $1 Million and $2.5 Million respectively.

I'm thinking of using one of my $215 tickets for one of these tournaments. Hopefully I get deep and make it ITM.

Monday, December 22, 2008

PokerStars Bonus Code for 2009

PokerStars will be changing the bonus code for first time depositors for 2009. The bonus code itself will change but the bonus itself remains the same. The first deposit bonus is still 100% up to a maximum bonus of $50. This is dependent on the account holder earning FPPs equal to 10x the bonus amount after depositing.

If you don't have a PokerStars account yet, Sign up for a PokerStars account now.

Starting Jan 1, 2009, the new PokerStars first deposit bonus code will be stars50.

WBCOOP 2008 - Main Event

I just busted out of the WBCOOP tournament at 115th place out of 169 players. Everything was going well until the tournament chip lead sat to my right and started bullying the table. I stood up to him but the cards didn't cooperate.

Hal888 finished at 114th place
Novagalaxy finished at 157th place
Atshu finished at 192nd place

So much for the Philippine WBCOOP contingent. Let's do better next year.

WBCOOP 2008 - Main Event Prologue

According to the PokerStars Blog, there are going to be 369 players for the main event. Only 4 are from the Philippines: abaddon_ross, atshu, hal888 and novagalaxy. All 4 are members of PokerManila.

GL to everyone. Let's take this down.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

PokerStars goes for Guinness Record

On December 28, 2008, 15:30 EST (December 29, 2008, 4:30 MNL), PokerStars is going to attempt the World's Largest Poker Tournament. It's a NLHE tournament which guarantees a total pot of $500,000. Buy-in is at $10+$1.

There are several satellites available to get a seat for the main tournament, Tournament ID 126551369.

WBCOOP 2008 - Last Qualifier

I wasn't able to join the 5th WBCOOP yesterday because I fell asleep. But I was able to make up for it today. For the last qualifier of this event, I made FT and I finished 2nd out of 549 players.

I won a seat to the Blogger Finals and 2 $215 tournament tickets.

This is my first FT finish with more than 100 players. Cool!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

WBCOOP 2008 - Third Qualifier

So close. I ended 89th out of 396 players in todays qualifier. It was a PLO8 event and I was short-stacked. I pushed with AKK7 and got a caller AQQJ. He hit his Queen on the flop and I wasn't able to get my King.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WBCOOP 2008 - Second Qualifier

I finished 388th out of 559 in the NLHE qualifier for the WBCOOP. I missed a level and a half because I had to feed Obiwan. Then my QQ went up against KK and I tilted. So I logged out of PokerStars and just blogged.

I just have a minor concern about this tournament. The PokerStars email said that this second qualifier is scheduled for 17:00 EST but it actually started 19:00 EST. Now that's fine because it was later than what was advertised. But what if for the next tournaments, it was actually earlier than what was on the email. Then a lot of people would've missed it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WBCOOP 2008 - First Qualifier

I finished feeding my son in time for the 1st qualifier for the WBCOOP. It was a PLO Hi tournament which wasn't my strongest game but I think I did pretty well. I made a big mistake in one hand which caused me to finish at 155th place out of 450 players.

I checked the finalists to see if there were Filipinos but I didn't find any. If there were, it's either they changed the city beside their nick or I didn't recognize the city. Hopefully, there would be a Philippine representative in the main event after all 6 qualifiers are done.

GL to everyone. Let's win this.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Metro 75 - My Personal Unicorn

I was browsing the Metro website earlier and I chanced upon the Metro 75 Winners Gallery. It was filled with players from the pre-Metro and Metro regulars. It just shows that tournaments will almost always be won with skill.

For 2009, I'll be aiming for 1st place in a Metro 75. I haven't been playing this tournament much this year but this time it'll be different. If I have some poker money, I'll use it for a Metro 75 buyin instead of buying in on a cash game or any other tournament.

NL 2-7 Single Draw

PokerStars offers a new freeroll. Ptolemy's NL 2-7 Freeroll is part of the constellation series of freerolls.

I've never played this poker variation before and I thought I'd give it a try. Also because WBCOOP has an 8-game qualifier which includes 2-7 Lowball.

Just like other forms of poker, the rules are easy to learn. It just took some getting used to because unlike in Razz or in other low games, an Ace is not considered as the lowest card. But aside from that, 2-7 Single Draw is fun.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WBCOOP 2008 - Here I come

My registration for WBCOOP is complete. I received my tickets to enter the following tournament qualifiers.

124189658 - Dec 15, 14:00 ET - Dec 16, 3:00 MNL - PLO
124189659 - Dec 16, 17:00 ET - Dec 17, 6:00 MNL - NLHE
124189660 - Dec 17, 22:00 ET - Dec 18, 11:00 MNL - PLO Hi/Lo
124189661 - Dec 18, 14:00 ET - Dec 19, 3:00 MNL - NLHE
124189662 - Dec 19, 17:00 ET - Dec 20, 6:00 MNL - 8-Game Mix
124189663 - Dec 20, 15:00 ET - Dec 21, 4:00 MNL - NLHE

Each qualifier awards 72 places with the following prizes.

1st Place  : Sunday Majors Platinum Package + Seat in Final
2-9 Place  : Sunday Majors Gold Package + Seat in Final
10-27 Place: Step 3 Ticket + Seat in Final
28-45 Place: Step 2 Ticket + Seat in Final
46-72 Place: Seat in Final

This means that there will be a maximum of 432 players for the final event.

170000000 - Dec 21, 15:00 ET - Dec 22, 4:00 MNL - NLHE

This tournament pays 100 places with the following prizes.

1st Place:    $14,300 PCA Package
2nd Place:    €5300 EPT Package, $1000 Cash, SCOOP Main Event Entry, and Step 6 Ticket
3rd Place:    €5300 EPT Package and $1000 Cash
4th Place:    SCOOP Main Event Entry and Step 6 Ticket
5th Place:    Step 6 Ticket
6th Place:    SCOOP Main Event Entry Ticket
7th Place:    $1050 Tournament Entry Ticket
8th Place:    Step 5 Ticket
9th Place:    $530 Tournament Entry Ticket
10-18 Place:  $320 Tournament Entry Ticket
19-27 Place:  $215 Tournament Entry Ticket
28-45 Place:  $109 Tournament Entry Ticket
46-100 Place: Step 3 Ticket

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

World Blogger Championship of Online Poker 2008

It's back! I didn't have the chance to join the last WBCOOP but this time I'll be able to. It's open to all bloggers with updated blogs that are older than 2 months. If you're a blogger but don't have a PokerStars account yet, Sign up for a PokerStars account now or click on the PokerStars banner to your right.

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

All bloggers can play in this exclusive online poker tournament.

Registration code: 436043

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

World Cup 2008 - No Bahamas for Philippine Team

Winroy finished 9th in his table which gave the Philippine team 1 point for his efforts. Charmer1973 had a better finish in his table with 3rd and contributing 11 points. Bmumali also finished 3rd in his table and adding another 11 points. Gumasta finished 10th on his table with 0 points. 

Total for Team Philippines, 23 points. Leader for this division after all tournaments was Team New Zealand with 47 points.

GG boys. Let's win it in 2009.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

World Cup Division Finals Tournaments

The Division Finals will be held on Dec 7, 8:00am EST. There are 4 STT's to determine which team will advance to the Carribean.

The list below shows the 4 members of the team and some details.
winroy (Cebu) placed 1st in the TLB and will lead the team as team captain. He will play in tournament 125051904.
Charmer1973 (Paranaque) placed 2nd in the TLB. He will play in tournament 125052024.
bmumali (Tagaytay) placed 1st in the World Cup freerolls. He will play in tournament 125053099.
gumasta (Quezon City) placed 2nd in the World Cup freerolls. He will play in tournament 125053303.

By the end of Dec 7, the scores will be tallied and the final list of teams who will advance to the main event will be final. Let's hope that the Philippine team makes the list. I encourage everyone to show their support for our local poker players. In other words, let's rail. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Metro Tournaments this December 2008

All Ladies Tournament
Seldom is there a female who joins this tournament who doesn't know how to play. Expect some good plays.

Metro Team Tournament
The structure has changed from last Team Poker. It's now a freezeout just like the original one. My team's problem is that Rini won't be available to play this year. We haven't finalized our roster yet.

Murphy's Law

It always happens that the river changes everything. And it's always to my disadvantage. Picture up top shows my KK vs villain's QQ. All-in preflop. Everything was good until the river. Damn you, Murphy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Again, wacha gonna do?

Don't you just love a straight flush on the flop and villain bets on every round?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Marian Rivera Playing Poker

A friend told me that Marian Rivera was at the Metro playing 100/200 last November 30, 2008. God, I wish I was there.

A by-product of playing poker is that you can look at anyone on the table without them getting offended. You just have to wait for them to bet and wait for your turn, then tank for minute while looking at them. I'd probably go on Time Bank mode on every other hand if I was playing with Marian. I don't mean any malice, she's just so pretty. 

There was this one time when there was a beautiful girl in my table and she was wearing a sleeveless top with a plunging neckline. When she'd bet, people would take a tad longer "thinking" before acting.

Downside is that I seldom win when there's a pretty girl on the table but then again, there's probably 1 girl for every 15 guys in a poker room. Most of the time they're wives or girlfriends of other players. Still, men lose a lot of money to pretty girls even off the felt anyway.

Oh, and Dingdong Dantes was there too.

Monday, December 1, 2008

World Cup 2008 Philippines Finalists

Half of the Philippine team have been determined. The 18 players who have qualified through the Philippine freerolls played the Philippine finals earlier. In this tournament, bmumali finished 1st and gumasta 2nd. Monpablo finished 3rd and will be included in the team if either of the first 2 players will be unable to make it.

The other 2 team members will be announced after the TLB have been tallied.

Next stop for the team is the team score round on December 7, 8:00am EST. Each member of the team will play against each members of teams Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Armenia, South Africa and Lebanon. Each of members' finish will earn them points which will be totaled and the team with the highest number of points will advance to the main event.

Well, wacha gonna do?

Hang around the poker room smoking area long enough and you hear the same stories told. But it still sucks when it happens. I have KK in the screenshot below. Money went all in after several raises for all 3 players pre-flop.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

World Cup 2008 Philippines Round 1 Qualifiers

The World Cup is an annual tournament where countries play poker against each other. Countries will be represented by a team who have either won the freeroll qualifiers or have the highest ranking in PokerStars' Tournament Leader Board.

The World Cup is on its 5th year but this is only the 2nd time the Philippines is included. Last year, the Philippine team was composed of ak97b, winroy, iko1688 and LSDUDE. They played against Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Venezuela. In this division, Mexico won and advanced to the main event in Barcelona, Spain.

This year, the World Cup of Poker is well underway. The freeroll qualifiers are just about done and the national Finals are about to begin.

The Philippines Final is scheduled for Dec 1, 3pm. This 18-player tournament will determine the 2 players who will play for the Philippine team. Tournament ID 121300365

1st freeroll winners, bmumali, CONQUEROR888, denim_ong, monpablo, MotoLGXDA, peke2008, POWERDMT, shioti and ZenidineZero
(Off-topic: I finished somewhere in the 50's out of 100+. My AK vs villain's KQ)

2nd freeroll winners, arieljohn, DylanHunter, eugynco, gumasta, isterwin, lelaks, Lilibeth1974, pinay_playah and vicpena
(Off-topic: I didn't play this freeroll because I woke up 4 minutes late!!! My laptop is at the foot of my bed and I still didn't make it in time.)

Good Luck all.

Friday, November 28, 2008

PokerStars Cash Game Rake

In the long run, a mediocre player will eventually lose to the house's rake. The poker room takes a percentage of every pot in a cash game. This is how they get the money to keep operating. This is also why poker is slightly pro-player. The house doesn't benefit off of the players' lost. They just care that there are as many players as possible.

I tried to research on how much the rake is in PokerStars and I found this rake page. It says that the rake for a No Limit Cash Table with blinds at $50 or less is 5% of the pot with a corresponding maximum limit depending on the number of players.

I never realized how much this is until I checked my hand history. I looked at the longest time I've played in a cash table which was 1 hour 52 minutes. It was a $0.10/$0.25 NLHE table. The total rake for that table at that time was $15.75. I bought in for $15 for that table and in less than 2 hours, PokerStars have earned what I bought in for.

Metro Team Poker

The Metro plans to hold the 2nd Team Poker event this December 2008. The date has yet to be announced but I heard they're choosing between December 19 to 21. Details will be announced soon.

This time, I hope Team King Jack Call gets better results.

Monday, November 24, 2008

PokerStars Admin Credit - Revisited

Here's an update on my previous post about the PokerStars Admin Credit. My friend was able to get the 1 FPP required to get the credit. However because it was only $5, she ended up losing everything.

I guess PokerStars got what they wanted. That's 1 more player who will want to try to play real money again and they got their investment back.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My 99th Post

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of just being an outlet for writing. I wanted to keep writing and I chose to write about poker as it was what occupied my time most. For the first few months, I didn't even show this blog to friends. I didn't want anyone to read it at first. The downside to that was I also didn't get motivated enough to continue writing. Besides, most of the tournaments I've played then were illegal and I didn't want people to get in trouble. Add to that, the fact that there were a number of local poker blogs that were active at that time and I wouldn't want to compete with them.

And then the more popular local poker blogs stopped updating. And I was added in PokerManila's blog list. And more people are starting to play poker. All these made me start writing again. It didn't matter that I seldom won anything in live or online play. I get high with just playing and writing about it.

Now I'm on my 99th post. I originally planned to celebrate by getting my own Final Table Donkey domain registered. But that has to wait. I'm going to get a domain for my other blog instead, Ang Tanging Ama. I still have some plans for the Final Table Donkey. But everyone will just have to wait.

Lastly, I'd like to thank all my readers. This blog has had significant increase in visitors especially in the last 4 months. I'm hoping it's because of what I write and how I write. For non-bloggers, you won't know how great it feels to see the number of visitors increase. I enjoy reading comments, be it positive or negative, because it tells me that what I write made a sort of impact. I enjoy seeing followers added to the blog. Here's to the next 99 posts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ramil Tandoc finishes 5th at APPT Manila Main Event

Congratulations to Ramil Tandoc for finishing fifth in the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour Manila Main Event. This 5th place finish by a Filipino is to date the best finish by a Filipino-based player in an international tournament.

Photo courtesy of Metro Card Club website

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Official Poker Ranking

I've always liked looking at how I fared in tournaments through the Oficial Poker Rankings(OPR) website. I don't use any of the poker software other online players use so this site sort of makes up for my want for finding out how I'm doing.

Unfortunately, it also tells me that I'm not doing very well right now.  These are what I've learned so far. I'll be throwing a lot of numbers so try to keep up. Here we go...

  • I'm currently rated 38.38% for the year 2008. Yes it's a little on the low side but this includes tournaments I've played when I was just trying out online poker. And it includes tournaments I've played when I was drunk. Keep this in mind when reading the rest of this post. The rating is a little low but my ranking is somewhat average. 
  • I'm ranked 578,425th out of 938,718 players tracked. I'm not sure which players are included in the rankings and which are disregarded.
  • I've played 112 tournaments tracked by OPR. 105 are NLHE tournaments, the rest varies.
  • I've never finished ITM in any non-NLHE tournament. I know how to play these games but it looks like I'm not meant to win any of them. I'll stop playing them altogether.
  • My average finish in NLHE: 9% in bottom 10%, 26% in next 20%, 38% in middle 40%, 25% in next 20%, and only 3% in the top 10%. What I understand in this is that I usually end up near the middle. Most of the time I'd finish near when half of the players have busted or a reasonable time after half of them are gone. But I don't often finish in the top 10%.
  • I've finished a total of 9 times in the top 10 players. All 9 times were in 36 tournaments played with exactly 45 players. I finish ITM 1 of 4 times. Buy-in averages at $4.
  • In these 9 tournaments where I've fnished in the top 10 players, I've finished 1st once. It was a $1.20 buy-in tournament and I won $14 gross. I've never finished 2nd. I've finished 3rd once. It was the same type of tournament and I won $7 gross.
  • I've never finished ITM in the 15 tournaments played with 46-180 players. Not once. Average buy-in is $4. I'll stop playing those as well.
  • For the 54 NLHE torunaments with more than 180 players, I've finished ITM 8 times. Average buy-in is also $4 but my ROI is not as good as the 45-player tournaments. I keep playing them because the returns is potentially bigger except that the field size is a lot bigger as well. An average of 2006 players to be exact.
  • The most I've won in a single tournament was in a $3 multi-rebuy tournament with a guarantee of $40,000. I had 1 buy-in and 1 add-on. There were a total of 3501 players and I finished 448th. I won $22 gross.
  • The least I've won was in a $0.10 buy-in tournament. I finished 36th out of 360 players and I won $0.20 gross.
  • The biggest buy-in I've invested was $27 in a 45-player tournament. I played it twice but I've never finished ITM.
  • The biggest buy-in I've played where I've got ITM was in a $7 buy-in 45-player tournament. I played it 3 times but I only finished once and I got $18 gross.
  • I've played the $1.20 buy-in tournament a total of 16 times. This is the type of tournament I've won most often and won most amount. It may serve well to play this instead as it yields the most results for me.
I think with these details, I pretty much know what to do. The real problem is actually doing them. But, that's really the problem for every other poker player, live or online.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

PokerStars Admin Credits

About a month ago I convinced a friend to try playing poker. At the time, she didn't know a straight from a flush but she tried poker through play money games in PokerStars. After a few days, she already knew the basics. She's even thinking of depositing to play real money.

As luck would have it, a couple of days ago, PokerStars lent her $5 with their Admin Credit promo. Some PokerStars accounts have been credited $5 with 1 condition. These players have to earn 1 FPP in 10 days else the credit will be taken back. It's a pretty good deal for them. Earning 1 FPP is easy and they get free starting bankroll. My friend has been playing play money tables and freerolls the whole time so a $5 gift is a lot.

Good Luck Kuh! Hope you get that 1 FPP soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

APPT Manila 2008

Here's the list of events for the APPT Manila 2008 as listed in the official website I won't be able to play any of the events and I'll forego watching them because it'll just be too sad.

Tue 11-Nov
Mega Satellite to Main Event

Tue 11-Nov
Manila Cup (2 day if required)

Wed 12- Nov
Mega Satellite to Main Event

Wed 12- Nov
Mega Satellite to Main Event

Wed 12-Nov
Celebrity/Media Event

Wed 12-Nov
Welcome Party at Hyatt Hotel

Thu 13-Nov
APPT Main Event Day 1A

Thu 13-Nov
No Limit Holdem

Fri 14-Nov
APPT Main Event Day 1B

Fri 14-Nov
No Limit Holdem

Sat 15-Nov
APPT Main Event Day 2

Sat 15-Nov
No Limit Holdem

Sat 15-Nov
No Limit Holdem 7 Handed Day 1

Sat 15-Nov
High Rollers Event

Sun 16-Nov
APPT Main Event Day 3

Sun 16-Nov
No Limit Holdem 7 Handed Day 2

Sun 16-Nov
APPT Grand Final Satellite
5000 Rebuys

Sun 16-Nov
Teams Event No Limit Holdem (2 per team)
20,000 per team

Friday, November 7, 2008

APPT Manila 2008 - pretournament update

The biggest poker event in the Philippines is just a few nights away. The Manila leg of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tournament is scheduled for November 13-16, 2008 at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino, Manila. The buy-in for the main event is Php 100,000 (approx $2,350).

Satellites for this event have been on-going in both live and online card rooms. But I haven't been able to play much of theses satellites. I was given a graveyar schedule recently and it caused me to miss a lot of the good tournaments. I'm still hoping to somehow get to participate in a mega-satellite right before the main event.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Next Interview

It's been a while since I've interviewed someone on this blog. And since I'm losing online, I might as well plan my next interview.

All right. So these are the people I plan to ask for an interview. In alphabetical order:
  • Nick Galan - To talk about the history of poker in the Philippines. (I may reserve this interview for an actual on-cam or audio interview.)
  • Christine Gambito (Happy Slip) - I don't know if she plays poker but it's would be nice to have something different once in a while.
  • Cass Gonzales - Poker is so much different from her perspective as a dealer.
  • Bryan Malantic - I would ask him about the TDA rules and stuff.
  • Joshua Rivera - He won the FPT5 and I'm sure he have some nice insights.

I haven't asked all of these people yet but at least I have a plan.

BTW, I may be getting my own domain, I'll just update everyone on when I'm moving to

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

0 to 1,000,000 - 6th Update

2 days ago I went through the worst run on this challenge. I went from $350+ down to $122 in a span of 2 days. I was so disappointed and heartbroken that I stopped playng for 2 days. Now I'm back to playing $0.10/$0.25 ring games when I was already at $0.50/$1. I may have moved up too fast but I wanted to see if I could reach the million by November 30. Seems I can't. Well, I'm still up and that's what matters.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

0 to 1,000,000 - 5th Update (Back On Track)

After writing the previous update I went on playing and the day ended at $219.90. But today, I was able to recover my losses and I'm back on schedule. It took 7 hours of play but now I'm at $308.10.

I got rid of that tilting feeling by playing FPP tourneys and it did the trick. I got to play without sacrificing more of my bankroll. So now I can continue with what I was doing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

0 to 1,000,000 - 4th Update (My First Setback)

I've been religiously following my plan to get to my 1,000,000 goal. And today I was my first losing day.

I started the day with $240.10 and it's currently $233.25. It's a small amount but it's major setback as far as the greater scheme of things. I can't play ring games today because I'm still thinking about my loss. Instead, I'm playing a 10FPP tournament and a $2.20 MTT. Hopefully I place in the money in one or both of these tournaments to get my confidence back.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pokermanila EB

I've been a member of the only poker community forum here in the Philippines for a while now and the community is growing. Members of Pokermanila represent the bulk of visitors on this blog. I've met a few of them in person but the site has never had a grand EB before. Or at least not while I was an active member. This also doesn't include eyeballs online playing freerolls.

I'm really hoping we get to have an EB soon. (Guys, this is a call out that we need to have an EB)

If you want to be a member of Pokermanila, just go to

Friday, October 17, 2008

0 to 1,000,000 - 3rd Update

I'm still on my 0 to 1,000,000 challenge and it's looking good. I've been sticking to my plan and I've never failed to meet the 3% daily for this last week. I've often exceeded the target because the pots I win is more than what I'm actually targetting.

I currently have $156.65. If I was getting only exactly 3% daily, I'd only be at $101.79. Luckily, I've always exceeded my target. The only downside to my plan thus far is that the 3% target can be met in just a few minutes. a couple of days ago, I only played 2 hands for the entire day. It's the only downside but it's a very major one. I don't get to play anymore. However, I'm still sticking to it. I think it's a good strategy and I'm experimenting on how far I get doing it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poker Acronyms

For the benefit of readers who feel that the poker acronyms used in my posts are jargon, I’ve listed some poker acronyms I often use throughout the blog. I’ve listed them alphabetically.

APPT – Asia-Pacific Poker Tour
BB – Big Blind/Big Bet
FD – Flush Draw
FPT – Filipino Poker Tour
FT – Final Table
FTD – Final Table Donkey
GL – Good Luck
ITM – In the Money
LHE – Limit Hold’em
MTT - Multi-Table Tournament
NLHE – No Limit Hold’em
OESD – Open-Ended Straight Draw
PLO – Pot Limit Omaha
PS - PokerStars
SB – Small Blind/Small Bet
SNG - Sit and Go
STT - Single Table Tournament
UTG – Under the Gun
WSOP – World Series of Poker

Sunday, October 12, 2008

0 to 1,000,000 - 2nd Update (Daily Strategy Guide)

I've written about my 0 to 1,000,000 challenge 5 months ago and I've never forgotten about it. I've only just began building my bankroll and now I can start working towards my goal. The challenge is to get to Php 1,000,000 by May 26, 2009. I was supposed to start from $0 and work my way up but it was taking forever to build so I had to deposit $23 last month. I wasn't cheating. The money I deposited came from the money I earned from selling my poker chip set. It was sort of still related to poker anyway. I was supposed to use the money from ads to fund this challenge but that too is taking forever.

Anyway, now that I have a bankroll, this is my planned strategy. Each day I play, I'll just aim for a net profit of 3% of the current bankroll. 3% is nearly nothing and it'll be (theoretically) easy to get that 3% without risking a lot. I also need to limit playing ring games with a BB that's 0.5% of my total bankroll. I'll only limit myself to buying in 30x BB for that ring game in order not to risk too much. If I'll play an STT, the buyin should not exceed 5% of my bankroll. For an MTT, buyin should not exceed 2.5%.

I currently have $85.25. I need to earn $2.56 for the first day through playing a ring game with BB not more than $0.43. As the days progress, I'll be playing on the bigger table but still trying to win only 3% of my bankroll. It's estimated that I reach $22,085 (Php 1,000,000+) by the 189th day or April 18 if I play daily and I always reach the 3% target.

Sounds simple enough. Now I just have to play. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good run

Just last month I was online broke. Then I had a friend transfer money to my account.

I've played SNGs, tournaments, ring games and now I've built my bankroll to $75. It actually went up to $100 but the last couple of days were bad. But generally, it's still not all that bad.

I'm still aiming to be a millionaire by next year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Poker Bigotry

In the hand below, there were only 3 players left in a $5.50 STT. Everyone was ITM. I am in Blue, villain in Red.

PokerStars Game #20966644004: Tournament #112428543, $5.00+$0.50 Hold'em No Limit - Level VII (100/200) - 2008/10/06 2:02:50 ET
Table '112428543 1' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 3: abaddon_ross (4310 in chips)
Seat 6: STEED11 (2390 in chips)
Seat 9: Defiance101 (6800 in chips)
abaddon_ross: posts the ante 25
STEED11: posts the ante 25
Defiance101: posts the ante 25
Defiance101: posts small blind 100
abaddon_ross: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to abaddon_ross [9c 7d]
STEED11: raises 200 to 400
Defiance101: folds
abaddon_ross: calls 200
*** FLOP *** [6d 7h 2d]
abaddon_ross: bets 600
STEED11: raises 600 to 1200
abaddon_ross: calls 600
*** TURN *** [6d 7h 2d] [9s]
abaddon_ross: checks
STEED11: bets 765 and is all-in
abaddon_ross: calls 765
*** RIVER *** [6d 7h 2d 9s] [2c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
abaddon_ross: shows [9c 7d] (two pair, Nines and Sevens)
STEED11: shows [Ac Ah] (two pair, Aces and Deuces)
STEED11 collected 4905 from pot

*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 4905 Rake 0
Board [6d 7h 2d 9s 2c]
Seat 3: abaddon_ross (big blind) showed [9c 7d] and lost with two pair, Nines and Sevens
Seat 6: STEED11 (button) showed [Ac Ah] and won (4905) with two pair, Aces and Deuces
Seat 9: Defiance101 (small blind) folded before Flop

The hand itself was not worth blogging about but after this hand, villain had this to say...

STEED11 said, "almost got lucky there"
STEED11 said, "the REAL players always prevail"
STEED11 said, "he was calling like he had cowboys"
STEED11 said, "abaddon is either drunk 12 yrs old, or from a country other than the us"

He had so much less chips than I did and his 2x raise on my BB was too small for AA. I had top pair when I led on the flop and his raise wasn't enough to push me out. I had my 2 pair on the turn and there was no reason to fold when he went all in. In retrospect, he was the one who got lucky. He only had 8 outs on the river.

I didn't answer him though. I let him tilt. But what does not being in the US have anything to do with playing?!?!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Filipino Poker Tour 6 - planning ahead

With the success of the Filipino Poker Tour 5, it's not hard to imagine that there will be a Filipino Poker Tour 6. I'm expecting it to have a higher buy-in because the main reason why FPT5's buy-in was low was to make people aware. They have been able to achieve that.

My fearless forecast is that FPT6 will be within 2008. It's going to have a buy-in of around 30k+3k and it'll guarantee 5 million.

And for me to be sure I get into this event, I'm planning ahead. I need to be able to raise the buy-in for the FPT6. On the right hand side of the blog, I've added a Donate button which you can use to help me. Thanks! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Filipino Poker Tour 5

The Filipino Poker Tour 5 has finally arrived and it's the biggest FPT to date. More than 300 players came to take part in the event. There was even a need to have alternates as there were more players than the venue could seat. I was expecting to see some good poker plays and I wasn't disappointed.

My whole tournament started pretty well. Starting stack was 15,000 and I was up to 20,000 before the first orbit. I was planning on building it a little at a time just to be sure I could go the distance. However, as the tournament progressed, I was no longer hitting the board and my bluffs were being called. It came to the point in level 4 that I was down to only 6 times the BB (600). The tables were turned when I got a rush and I was able to rebuild my stack to more than 20,000 at the start of the 5th level. This made me one of the big stacks in my table.

In level 6, our table collapsed and I was transferred to a different one. What was considered a big stack in my table became one of the shorter stacks in the new one. I wasn't able to see the flop, even when I was BB. After the dinner break, I checked the stacks of the remaining players and found that I would still have a chance if I made a move in the next round.

Level 7 (600/1200, ante 100). I was at around 20,000+. I was BB and UTG bet 4,000 total. Everyone folded to me. It was the second time opponent on my left raised on my blind. I figured I was going to look at the flop just to see if my 87 suited would hit. Flop came 898, no flush draw. I felt there he couldn't be on a straight draw. I checked with the intention of slow playing my set. There was 9,400 in the pot, villain bet 4,000. I called. Turn was a King, flush draw now on the board. I still checked. Villain also checked. River was a Jack, no flush. Villain bet 12,000. I only had 13,000+ left so I pushed all-in. He was commited and called. He showed JJ for a full house Jacks over Eights. I showed my set and instantly felt remorse about not check-raising on the flop or betting all-in on the turn.

It may not have been my time to win a major tournament. But just trying to see it in a more optimistic point of view, at least I got a free dinner and a t-shirt.

Friday, October 3, 2008

FPT5 - Here I come...

I can't wait to play the Filipino Poker Tour 5 tomorrow. This will be my first major tournament ever. I've played other tournaments but none as big as this.

Man, I wish I still had my mohawk!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mega-Satellites for FPT5

The Metro will be having mega-satellites for the FPT5 tournament. These satellites will be held in the new Metro card room. It's behind Duck Wok in Metrowalk. There's a door there that leads inside and to the back.

Oct 2, 6pm - 5 seats guaranteed - Php500+50 buy-in
Oct 3, 6pm - 10 seats guaranteed - Php1000+100 buy-in

They didn't mention if it's going to be a no rebuy, single rebuy/add-on or multi-rebuy tournament. I hope it's a no rebuy tournament.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

PokerStars Promo - Million Dollar Men

The final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event has been rescheduled to Nov 9-10. Several months after the 9 players reached the final table. They have their reasons which I don't really want to talk about right now.

What I am going to talk about is the promotion that PokerStars is having which includes 6 out of the 9 players in the final table. The 6 players are representing PokerStars in the WSOP Main Event tournament. Each of them are guaranteed $900,670 and they all have the chance to win first place and $9,119,517. Which is why they're called the Million Dollar Men. (Except if they finished 9th; they'd be a thousand-aire)

The main selling point of this promo is that 3 lucky online players will get the chance to play a single-table tournament against these people.

1st level - freeroll tournaments daily from Sep 27 to Oct 17 at 11:10, 14:10, 17:10, 20:10 and 23:10 eastern time. Top 300 players advance to the weekly final.

2nd level - tournaments will be on Oct 4, 11 and 18 at 15:10 eastern time. Top 1000 players advance to the finals and $15, 1001st to 2000th get $10, and 2001st to 3000th get $5.

3rd level - tournament will be on Oct 25 at 15:10 eastern time. Top 3 of this tournament will play against the Million Dollar Men in an STT. But everyone from 4th to 1000th places will get some cash prizes as well.

Main Event - STT tournament will be on Nov 1 at 15:10 eastern time. 1st place gets $100,000, 2nd $50,000, 3rd $25,000 and the rest of the table gets $10,000.

I've been playing the freerolls and the best finish I had was 700+ out of 15000 registrants. I'm still trying to get that 2nd level seat.

There are other promotions in PokerStars which include the Million Dollar Men but the freerolls are what I'm interested in. Actually, it's the only promotion I can join. If you're interested in reading about the details for these promotions, please visit the PokerStars website.

Monday, September 29, 2008

FPT5 seat tally

While I'm waiting for the Million Dollar Men Freeroll Qualifier to start, I looked at the list of players who won a seat to the Filipino Poker Tour 5.

There are now 38 players on the list who've already won in the satellites. There will be the last $25 qualifier on Oct 2, 8pm. I expect that there will be more players there and they'll give out 3 seats. On that same date, there will be the phase 2 tournament for the winners of the phase 1 freeroll this week. That tournament guarantees 1 seats. There are no other tournaments announced in PokerStars for the FPT 5. Which means it'll total to approximately 55 seats from PokerStars. This is still dependent on how many actually register for the $25 tournament.

55 is a lot of seats from a sponsor. The probability of having a PokerStars sponsored winner is big. Especially because these 55 people had to win their way to the tournament and have proven they have the skills.

That's it, MDM freeroll is starting. Until next time...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

FPT5 pre-tournament update

I just realized that the Filipino Poker Tour 5 is just a week away and I still don't have my seat. I will no longer be able to play the freerolls because I was moved to the graveyard shift again. (But at least I get to play the Million Dollar Men freerolls instead.)

I'm still hoping that the sponsors are going to have a super-satellite of sorts and give out multiple FPT5 seats. PokerStars promised a minimum of 80 seats to this event but the list of online qualifiers only show 26 so far.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

APPT Seoul 2008 - Day 2

The Seoul leg of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour is now down to 16 players after the second day. All 16 players are in the money and guaranteed to take home at least $4,006.

Sadly, the Philippine poker community doesn't have a representative in the list of finalists. Rainier Salazar busted out on day 2 when he pushed on his SB with AQ. BB called with A6. Flop peels off a 6 and no help comes on the turn and river.

Rainier, we were all rooting for you. We'll get them next time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

APPT Seoul 2008 - Day 1

Day 1 of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour 2008 Soeul leg has just concluded. There are 83 players left out of the 165 entries.

I checked the list and I was only able to recognize 1 Filipino left standing. Rainier Salazar is currently 11th in chips and stands a very good chance of getting deep into the tournament.

Rainier, you can do this buddy. Don't forget the basics; AA good, 72 bad. When faced with a difficult decision, just think what I would do and do the opposite.

For live updates for this tournament, please check this link,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

FPT 5 seat for sale

My friend is selling his seat for the FPT 5. He's waiting for a reasnable offer.

If you're planning to buy-in directly to the FPT 5 main event, just leave a comment here and I'll relay the message to him.

You can also buy the seat for me if you're willing to stake me. I really don't mind... Terms are 60 you / 40 me of net profit.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Don't you just hate Jacks?

I just finished playing the phase 2 tournaments. 1 for the APPT Seoul and the other was a $25 qualifier for the FPT5.

APPT Seoul phase 2
I finished 39th place out of 231 entries. I went all-in on the flop with my top pair Jack and kicker Ace. Villain had AA. Only the 2 remaining Jacks would help. No luck.

$25 Qualifier
I finished 4th out of 11 entries. I had the shortest stack. Pushed all-in with QQ. Villain had JJ. Flop 87T rainbow. Turn 9. Villain had a made straight. I had a gutshot straight with the 2 remaining Jacks. To add insult to injury, river is a Queen.

If I would've won any of the hands above, I would've had a very good chance. Instead, I won nothing and my dreams of being able to play in APPT Seoul and/or the FPT5 are shattered. I didn't even get a consolation prize. My chances of being able to play in a big tournament are getting smaller and smaller.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Bankroll Update

Today I woke up and thought I'm going to play higher stakes. I usually play $1.10 buyin 45-player SNGs but today I'd play $4.40 buyin 180-player SNG. Bad idea. I ended up losing $8.80 for the 2 SNGs which brings my bankroll to $16.27.

That's right. I have a bankroll now. A small one but a bankroll nonetheless. I had Ranier77 transfer $23 to my account. It was up and down for a few days which was why I wanted to play the bigger table. Swings at the micro stakes are so small that it's almost not worth the effort. I'm aiming to be able to play at the bigger tables.

I also want to practice for the Sunday tournaments. The structure of the 180 player SNG is similar to the phase 2 tournaments on Sunday and I really want the APPT Seoul and FPT5 seats.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Road to APPT Seoul

I've gotten a total of 3 seats from the APPT satellite phase 1. These seats are for the 2nd phase satellites. The first 2 tournaments had already finished with me empty handed. I still have 1 phase 2 tournament scheduled for this coming Sunday. I plan to keep playing the phase 1 satellite and maybe get another seat and limit the field a bit.

I want that seat. I want to go to Seoul, Korea. And I want the chance to finally be able to play in an APPT event.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Road to FPT5

Since Sept 11, 2008, I've been trying to get my hands on a seat for the Filipino Poker Tour 5.

I've played most the freeroll tournaments winning none of them. I was even called a donkey by a player after he kept checking his trips and I kept betting. Then after that hand, I kept going all-in every hand. For his information, it doesn't count as being a donkey if you bet first. At least I think it doesn't. Anyway, I was really sleepy and the satellite phase 1 will only give 10 phase 2 seats out of the 170+/- who joined. Too much work for a 1st level satellite.

I've played a $3 qualifier and finished 4th out of 7.

I've joined another satellite which doesn't get quorum.

I've listened to Lil' Joey's radio program for the first time in my life because I heard there a seat given there. (They start giving the seats out next week I think)

I may need to rethink this whole thing. I've been trying to hard that it's frustrating. The thing is, I want to play because it is a live deep stack tournament and I know I can go deep in that tournament but I just don't have the stake. (Certain circumstances require me to put my money elsewhere. We don't need to talk about them here.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Neil Arce wins Metro75

I just saw the Metro's official website and found out that Neil Arce won the Metro75. It is a minor win compared to his other accomplishments but it just shows how versatile he is and that his skills as a poker player are above the others. Neil has placed in the money in the WSOP which very few Filipinos can boast of. He won the Filipino Poker Tour 3. And he just won the Metro75. He must be one of the most accomplished poker players in the Philippines today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Filipino Poker Tour 5 - rescheduled

According to Ms. Sabs of PokerStars, the Filipino Poker Tour 5 has been rescheduled for October 4-5. Probably to make way for APPT Seoul which scheduled for September 26-28. I'm not really sure, I'm just guessing.

It just means we have more time to get those seats. There are several ways of getting seats for this tournament:
Metro 500 - Php 500 buy-in tournament every MWF 2pm at the Metro. Top 2 places get a seat for FPT 5.
Metro 75 - Php 3,000 buy-in tournament every Wednesday night at the Metro.
Metro Bounty Tournament - Every Sunday night at the Metro
PokerStars freerolls - Phase 1 nightly from Sept 11 - Oct 1, 8pm and 10pm. Predetermined number of winners advance to phase 2 every Sunday at 8pm.
PokerStars $3 qualifier - Phase 1 nightly from Sept 11 - Oct 1, 9pm. Winners get seats for $22 qualifier.
PokerStars $22 qualifier - Phase 2 every Sunday at 9pm.

I have my eyes on playing those freerolls. A total of 80 seats are guaranteed from the online tournaments alone. If you don't have a PokerStars account, click on the banner on the right.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I'm broke. I have $0.04 in PokerStars and 0 FPP. I need to win some freerolls.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My PokerStars Username

I play in PokerStars under the name abaddon_ross. Abaddon is a name i picked up from the Bible, Revelation 9:11. No, I don't read the Bible. I was looking for a cool name and I chanced upon it in Google. Apparently, it's not as cool as I thought it was. But I got stuck with it. Don't ask me how to pronounce it because I don't even know.

Anyway, if you see me online, say hi to me. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Filipino Poker Tour 5 - coming soon

Here's something to look forward to. The tournament's going to be on Sept 27 & 28, 2008. Only 10k+1k buy-in and they guaranteed 2million. I'm guessing that because of the low buy-in, they may probably exceed the guarantee.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moneybookers out of PokerStars

A lot of online players are affected by Moneybookers pulling out of PokerStars. Read about it in PokerManila.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Online Bankroll Update

I haven't been able to give an update on my online bankroll. Actually, I wanted to give an update after I've recovered it but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

My bankroll started at $45 and was funded through a friend. It really was just for me to test online poker to see if I wanted to play regularly online. I played various games just to see what it had to offer. I played 7-card stud, Razz, Omaha, HORSE, Holdem cash tables and I played STT's and MTT's. I learned a lot everytime I play. Most important lesson I learned is that I should never play a multi-rebuy tournament while drunk. To cut the long story short, I'm now down to $0.04.

I was planning to deposit through Moneybookers but when I viewed the Deposit Options, the Moneybookers button was no longer there. I emailed PokerStars and found out that Moneybookers "changed their policies and are no longer allowing gaming transactions". Well, that's too bad for me. I'll probably check what my other options are next time.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm planning to make a deposit in PokerStars and from other online players' recommendations, I decided to open a Moneybookers account to do that. I originally wanted to deposit directly through my credit card but PokerStars wouldn't accept transactions with a Citibank credit card. I have an American Express credit card but PokerStars doesn't allow it either. So I will course my American Expres credit card transaction through Moneybookers and use that for PokerStars. It's a workaround but it gets the money to the PokerStars account.

Moneybookers works the way Paypal does except that Paypal can't be used for PokerStars. (I think they shut down or something.) But Moneybookers is tried and tested. They can accept transfers from various credit cards for a minimal fee or through bank transfers for free. They accept bank transfers from the Philippines too. For simplicity, I'll use the credit card transfer because the PokerStars bonus will more than cover the fee I need to pay.

In case you also want to use Moneybookers, just click on this link,

And if you still don't have a PokerStars account, use this one,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Am I a Compulsive Gambler?

I was looking for the next article to post in the blog and I came across Gamblers Anonymous site. On the site I found the twenty questions that would determine if one's a compulsive gambler. I might as well find out if my playing poker is a problem.

Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling? No - Whew! I'm off to a good start.
Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy? No
Did gambling affect your reputation? Hmmm... I'm not sure what's being asked. If it's asking if my playing poker has affected my reputation negatively, then I would have to say No.
Have you ever felt remorse after gambling? At one point or another, everyone has felt remorse after calling for the sake of knowing the opponents hand when they knew they were beat. So, Yes.
Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties? There was a time when I was out with friends and we didn't have enough money to drink. So we gambled until we had enough. Yes again.
Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency? On the contrary, it made me more ambitious.
After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses? Maybe when I was starting. But part of my poker maturity is to know when to stand-up. Unless I'm drunk, but I'll save that for the Alcoholics Anonymous.
After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more? Same answer as the previous question. No.
Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone? This is a hard question. I know I do which is why I leave non-gambling money and ATM cards and credit cards at home when playing. So my answer is No because I don't bring it with me.
Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling? I never borrow for gambling unless I know that I can pay it back immediately. I won't borrow if I can't pay it back.
Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling? There's nothing of value to sell.
Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures? Never.
Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family? I can't see how this could happen.
Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned? Yes.
Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness? Yes. Especially boredom.
Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling? No.
Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping? Yes. There are some bad calls, bad folds, bad beats, or bad players who can really keep me up all night.
Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble? No.
Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling? Poker players should stop being superstitious. Luck has a hand in poker but it's not what should determine the results of the whole game.
Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling? No.

That's a total of 5 Yes answers. The site said compulsive gamblers score at least a 7. I'm not a Compulsive Gambler! Cool. Just in case you found out you are, you can email They have weekly meetings all around the world. Including the Philippines.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Featured Player - Derick Hernandez

35 years old

When did you start playing?
I started playing poker December 1999. I know this because I started playing online and they have the date when you registered to them. That’s the first time I played holdem.
Where do you usually play (live and online)?
Live I play at The Metro. Online I play Pokerstars and Fulltilt poker.

What stakes do you usually play (live and online)?
Live I play as much as 500-1k. Online now a days I prefer tounaments as much as 1k buyin.

Preference: Online or Live poker? (Optional question, Why?)
Of course live games but I wanna play online in between those games. I think I play much better live but online gives me a lot more convenience and rake is much lesser and you don’t have to give tips.

Preference: Cash games or Tournament? (Optional question, Why?)
Tournaments. When I win a tournament it feel like I’ve accomplished something aside from winning money. You don’t get that on cash games.

What are the biggest tournaments you've entered and what place did you finish?
Well the biggest was the last main event of the WSOP. The field was almost 7k players. The buyin was 10k usd. And I finished 700+. Didn’t made the money though. Money was 666 players.

In your opinion, who's the best international player and why?
I don’t watch a lot of high stakes poker on tv anymore but I always liked Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen.

In your opinion, who's the best local player and why?
Me. Well aside from me Kent del rosario and Franco Mabanta I think are among the best on cash games. On tournaments I would say Niel Arce. Online poker I would say Ronnel Sto Thomas but for some reason he is a fish on live games.

Fearless forecast: Who among the Filipino players will last the longest in this year's APPT Manila ?

What does it take for a good player to become a great player?
A great player learns from everyone. A good player thinks he is already good on his own.

Walk us through what was going through your mind when you busted out Phil Gordon in this year's WSOP Main Event.
Wow! I busted Phil with only pokets 4’s hehe isn’t that amazing! Everyone on my table was in awe with that single hand. Seriously because everyone were playing so tight and both of didn’t hit anything on the board and both of us have good stacks.

What would you change in the way Filipino poker players play?

If I could change anything it’s the game itself. I think poker would be more successful if the game is limit holdem instead of no limit holdem. The trend now a days is no limit but limit is more fun and have less seriousness in it coz u don’t have to lose your whole stack in one hand.

If you go to Commerce Casino in LA you would see more limit games than no limit games. That’s why it is running good up to this day coz of limit games.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Filipino Time

Poker has been in the Philippines for years and a lot has improved. The structures are better. The plays are now more strategic. More people know how to play. Attendance is far from when we were starting. Payouts are definitely bigger. What has not changed is the time it starts!

Back in the day, there'd be a tournament advertised for 2pm and it'll start by 3pm or 4pm. Nothing has changed at all when it comes to the actual first deal. Players do not arrive early because they know it's delayed. Organizers do not start on time because players have not arrived. It's vicious cycle and I don't see a snap-of-a-finger solution to it in the near future. But it really has to stop.

Too much time has been wasted waiting for the tournament to start. As of this writing, I'm waiting for The Metro Bounty Tournament to start. It was advertised to start at 8pm and it's now 9pm+. I've walked around Metrowalk several times and I know it won't start in the next few minutes. Such a waste...

This is not particular to The Metro. All other poker rooms I've been to experience the same problem. But if The Metro wants to be the poker room all other poker rooms want to be, starting tournaments on time would be a good place to start.

Let's make this a "petition" post. If you're in favor of tournaments starting on time, just leave a comment on this particular post. Make your voice heard.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Interview with a House Player

Hold'em is like no other casino card game because the players play against each other and not against the house. It's better because the house doesn't care whether you win or lose as long as they have their rake. Downside to this is when a big money player enters an empty poker room, he'll just leave because there's no one to play against. This was solved by some poker rooms hiring house players or prop players to guarantee that there will always be people to play with. Not all poker rooms employ house players but room who do are often more successful because there will always be action on the table. There are also different terms for each room. Generally, they are seated in tables where there aren't enough players and they stand when there's a player who needs the seat. They play with their own money but are given a "salary" as long as they complete the required number of hours. This is my interview with a house player.

Where/When/How did you start playing poker?
I have always thought that poker is a great game from what i saw in the movies since my childhood days. i didnt know how to play then but i knew that poker is a family of various games and that its a game of betting, calculating odds and reading opponents. in 2004 i taught myself the texas holdem and other variants through books and the internet when i knew that poker will become popular in the country.

How did you become a house player?
I was already one of regular players in the local scene when the cardroom needed house players so i was offered the job and i accepted it.

How often do you play?
Right now i have to play there five days a week, 8 hours a day.

How has being a house player changed poker for you?
it helped me build my bankroll because of the regular income.

What have you learned from being a house player?
That the game is really hard to beat at our local scene. if its hard to beat even for a paid props player who get a daily pay, more so for any other player who dont get any pay for playing.

Are there any disadvantages to being a house player?
You dont have table selection. sit when you have to, stand when you have to.

Do people play differenty if they know they're playing with a house player?
Yes. because generally, house players are better players and people know that because they see you play almost everyday.

Should they steer away from playing against house players?
Yes if possible.

What would you change in the way Filipino poker players play?
I have always wondered why it is only here in our country where the rake is too much at 10% with maximum reaching PHP 500.00 or more for higher stakes and anywhere else it is only 5% with a maximum of $3 per pot. If it doesnt change, it will be really very hard to beat the game, even for top-class pros, i believe.

Any last words for the readers of Final Table Donkey?
Nothing more, i think i talked too much already. lol.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross Freeroll - Phase 2

I just busted out of the level 2 satellite for the Aug 9 event. Seems like it's a recurring theme where I win the level 1 but never get close in the level 2.

Well, there's always a next time.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross Freeroll - Phase 1

I was able to win the level 1 satellite for the Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross (tournament 99142101). There were a total of 487 entries and the top 10 would get a seat for the level 2 satellite (tournament 99139091) on August 3, 2008 at 7:00pm MNL. The main event will be held at The Metro Card Club in Metrowalk, Pasig City, Philippines on August 9, 2008.

The level 1 freeroll satellites will continue nightly at PokerStars. There's one at 7:00pm and 10:00 pm MNL. They can be found on the Tournaments/Regional tab.

One problem with the freeroll is that majority of those who play are not even from the Philippines. I don't even know if they know where the Philippines is. I asked one player and he said that he plans to sell the seat if he wins. Tough luck for those who actually intend on playing the main event.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Filipino Poker Tour: Red Cross

On August 9, 2008, there will be a Filipino Poker Tour Tournament. Unless I'm mistaken, the tournament buy-in will be Php 5,000.

There will be freerolls in PokerStars for this event. Nightly level 1s and then a level 2. I'm currently playing the 10pm MNL level 1 which is why I need to stop blogging and pay attention to the game.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

APPT-Macau: Freeroll Phase 2 [Asia]

I just finished playing the level 2 satellite for APPT Macau (tournament 93791080). There were a total of 472 entries and I finished 127th. Generally, I think I played well. I wish I had more playable cards dealt to me though.

So I guess Macau has to wait. I'll try the level 1 satellites again.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Assessment of Online Poker

A little more than a month ago, I posted about My First Online Cash Game. In that month, I've played more hands that I would have in maybe half a year. And it cost as much as a night's buy-in on a live 10/20 table. I'm confident that somehow my game has changed for the better because of this and in a very short time at that.

I encourage everyone who are not yet playing online to try it. Sign up for a PokerStars account now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

APPT-Macau: Freeroll Phase 1 [Asia]

I won another freeroll in PokerStars. This time it's a level 1 satellite for APPT Macau (Tournament 93791632). There were a total of 476 entries and the top 20 got a seat to the second level satellite (Tournament 93791080).

I've regret selling my seat last year for the APPT Manila. This time I hope I get the chance to make up for it by winning another seat and finally get to play in an international tournament.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Internal Error (71/1001) - Resolved

Online poker wasn't an option tonight so I went to The Metro instead. I was hoping to be able to see Franco to hasten clearing my account but he wasn't there.

I really didn't want to resolve the PokerStars mess up by sending any IDs or utility bills. They were asking me to send a photo ID but they really don't know what I look like hence nothing to compare the picture to. And bills at home are not under my name so what use would that be. So I replied to their original email telling them that there must be some mistake. Usage on my account would hardly be red flag for any fraudulent activities. The worst thing I've used the account for was to bluff a player every now and then.

When I got home, I checked my email and PokerStars has already replied, "We apologise for any inconvenience caused. The error has now been resolved and your account has been reinstated. Please login at your earliest convenience."

Whew! That's a load off my back. It took less than a day to resolve as compared to 5 months which I read about in one of the forums. My $11.84 was intact and I'm able to play again. So I guess abaddon_ross really wasn't gone for that long. Now I can play again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Internal Error (71/1001)

I was playing an FPP tournament in PokerStars earlier and after I got busted, I got booted out of the account. I didn't think anything of it until I tried to log back in. When I try to log in, I'd get this message, "Internal Eror (71/1001). Please contact Include the above Internal Error number in your correspondence."

So I emailed PokerStars telling them of my concern. A few minutes after, I received a reply asking me to fax or email: 1) a clear photocopy of your driver's license, front and back , or other photo ID; and 2) a clear photocopy of your last utility bill (telephone, gas, water, or electric) indicating your name, address and statement date.

I read some forums and I found out that the error was caused by the account being frozen. There was no reason for them to freeze my account, I have like $11 there. (Yes, the reason why I haven't updated this blog with my bankroll was because my $45 was down to $11)

I'm going to try to resolve this error and hopefully get to play again but it makes me wonder how safe it'll be if I had a few hundred/thousand dollars there. I'm sure I wouldn't be this calm.

So I'm sorry to say, but you guys won't be seeing abaddon_ross play online anytime soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weekly Round 2 - Saturday

I decided to play the ticket I won in the freeroll. There were 4800+ entries and they were going to pay the top 801 players. I finished 4000+. It was the worse tournament I played in a long time.

Well, tomorrow's another day. At least I can sleep early so I won't be late for work.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kepler's FL Razz Freeroll

Finally, after playing a million freerolls n Pokerstars, I've won in one. I just finished within the top 88 against 2567 entries to the Kepler's Fixed Limiet Razz Freeroll (Tournament 94709534). The winners would get a seat for a weekly round 2 of their choice. Yes, after all that work, I didn't get any money out of it but it'sa major accomplishment for me. The tournament gave me my confidence back in my poker skills. Although it wasn't a Hold'em tournament, it's still poker.

I haven't decided when I'm going to use the ticket for the weekly round 2. It's a $4k guaranteed tournament and I do hope I make it in the money there.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Filipino Poker Tour 3

The 3rd Filipino Poker Tour was held in The Metro last weekend, June 28 and 29. There were 111 players who entered to vie for the Php3Million+ total pot. This makes the tournament one of the biggest tournaments here in the Philippines.
The final table of this 3rd leg of the tour was unbelievable. It included a lot of the staples in the Philippine poker community.
5th place - Ed Marcelo
I have a lot of respect for this guy. Ed's very disciplined and his tournament results are consistently high. I can't remember seeing him play in a ring game though. He never shares any of his thoughts about plays or cards or poker, on or off the poker table. Which is why I never know what he's thinking.
4th place - Franco Mabanta
I don't remember having been on the same table as Franco. The only time I was on the same table as him was in a PokerStars freeroll satellite for the FPT2. Actually, I think I played in a 100/200 with him once. I really can't remember. And I seldom see him on tournaments where I play. This is probably because he's always at the big table which I can't afford. But I hear he's successful there so I guess that makes him pretty good.
3rd place - Ronald Singson
Ronald's also always at the big table but I've seen him at the 10/20 a few times trying to get the action rolling when The Metro was just starting out. I remember being glad that Ronald's on that table because at that time, 10/20 players didn't know how to play properly. I've never been on the same table as him in a tournament. He placed well in last year's APPT so that amounts to something.
2nd place - Erick Sia
I've played with Erick a few times and he's pretty smart. He knows his odds better than most. I hear he's successful online. And he finished 2nd place in this tournament.
1st place - Neil Arce
Neil is probably the most recognizable players in the Philippine poker community. He's the only local poker player to place ITM in the WSOP main event. That accomplishment alone is worth mentioning again. He's the only local poker player to place ITM in the WSOP main event. This FPT3 win cements his place as one of the best in the country.
My hat's off to Dirty Ice Cream and for the rest of these guys for showing that poker is not about luck and it takes a lot of skill to be consistent in our sport. You all deserve to be recognized. You're all an inspiration to our local poker players.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Bad Hands

Since I'm going to start playing poker online, I wanted to try using Poker Tracker. I heard that a lot of online players use it so I might as well. It's a pain to install but apparently it's only hard to install if you've tried and failed before.
Now what it does is it tracks everything that happens while you're playing or even observing poker. It inputs everything in the database and it outputs a whole lot of information I'm not even sure if I'm going to use in the future.
So far, the only report I have studied is my tournament starting hands. My sample size may be a little small, but I have to start somewhere. I was trying to see what I could improve in my tournament play. These are my findings...

ATo - The hand I lose the biggest amount to.
K8o - I really don't notice that I actually play this hand. And I lose often with it.
52o - Half of the time I play it, I'm not in the blinds. I don't know why I do that.

So now that I know, I'll start making sure I'm careful with these hands. I'm not saying that I'll voluntarily fold them just to get rid of them but instead I won't overplay them.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My First Online Cash Game

I logged on to PokerStars but at first I couldn't decide what to play. I originally intended to play an SnG but I couldn't find where they were. So I decided I'd play a ring game instead. I also decided that I'll apply proper bankroll management so instead of looking for no limit games, I wanted my first game to be a limit game only.
I headed straight to the lowest limit 7 card stud table and after a couple of orbits, I was up $1. Not bad for a newbie. I left the table after hitting the $1 mark 'cause I didn't want to lose on my first try. But I decided to play again. This time I played $0.04/$0.08 limit 7 card stud high/low. I pushed my quota to $5 but I had a hard time reaching that because it was a very low limit table. I also tried multi-tabling which was to my disadvantage as I wasn't able to concentrate very much.
To cut the long story short, I reached my $5 quota for the day after 2 hours of play. I'll probably play HORSE or Razz next time. I doubt I'll be playing NLHE anytime soon as I have a very small bankroll. I may play LHE instead. Or perhaps PLO.
My 0 to 1,000,000 may be possible after all. Jesus Fergusson also played 7 card stud when he was going for $10,000 so I must be on the right track. I think I'll still meet my May 26, 2009 target.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Featured Player - Sunshine

Name: Sunshine
Age: 24
When did you start playing? 2.5 years ago. I started playing micro-mini stakes at home with friends.
Where do you usually play? Live games always in The Metro, online on Pokerstars and Fulltilt
What stakes do you usually play? Games I play ranges from 25/50 to 100/200 (in Peso) blinds... It depends on the action, stacks on the table, and who are on the table.
Preference: Online or Live poker? Both
Preference: Cash games or Tournament? Both
Biggest tournament you've entered? (Not necessarily won) APT ($2.5k buy-in)
How does one win in poker? a cliche but patience will remain a virtue..though donkey wins
Who's the best international player and why? There are a lot coz each and every pro that I know has his own strategy that makes it for them which can be the best for each and every game.
Who's the best local player and why? No comment. lol. But definitely not way far from it..
Fearless forecast: Who will win the Filipino Poker Tour 3? maybe you.. :)
That's a long shot cause I'm not joining :) -ross
What's your most memorable bad beat? I dont keep track of the bad beats I get coz if I do, I would always remember it & just give myself bad vibes everytime I play.
What's your most memorable suck out? I'm a good girl... I dont give bad
What's your most expensive poker lesson? (A mistake on your part which cost you the most amount of chips but because it was expensive, you made sure not to commit the same mistake ever) Everytime I bust out...coz it just means I put all my chips in and as expensive as all my chips I just learned the latest poker lesson I would
What's one thing you would like to change about Filipino players? Nothing. I think Filipino poker is doin good & it's even gonna get better soon as people play almost play everyday
What's your advise for people who are just starting to play? Well, you would always see players (who have been in the scene for quite a while) winning on wide variety of hands...seeing some exhibitions on their plays...but when you start playing it, poker basics are always very important and should stick with 'em. Later on you would always get to use 'em no matter how long you have been playing the game. and you'll still see that the poker veterans still use 'em a lot and are still makin money out of it. Oh and that bluffing isnt the essence of poker.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My First Deposit

My poker table was sold and I was paid through PokerStars. I now have $45 in my account. I can’t wait to play. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

0 to 1,000,000 - 1st Update

So far, the 0 to 1,000,000 challenge is on track. I’m still relying mainly on the earnings from advertisements. This includes advertisements from my other blogs. At this rate, I can have the first deposit approximately by early August. I don’t know how long the check would arrive but I’m hoping it’ll arrive before September. I think I’m disallowed by Google to mention how much I earned so I’m just going to keep it confidential.

When Mogs sells my poker table, he’ll transfer some dollars to my PokerStars account. I hope that lasts at least until September.

So far, I’m happy with the results and I feel confident this challenge is going to be a success.

To read about the details of the 0 to 1,000,000 challenge, view the link:

Big Players in a Small Table

After a long poker break (not counting the Filipino Poker Tour Freeroll Satellites in PokerStars) I came back to The Metro to play. One of my “rules” limit me from playing while under the influence of alcohol but because I was under the influence, my reasoning was askew.

So I played in the 10/20 table where there were 2 big stacks who were dominating the rest of the players. This was another “rule” I was trying to implement (not to play in cash tables where a few players dominate the stacks or the action). Nonetheless, I sat and played. I guess poker is like riding a bicycle and I was soon able to vie for chip leader after a few orbits through a combination of out-playing, bluffing and donkeying.

Then came Bitoy. Bitoy has been part of the Philippine Poker Community since the early days and as I’m comparably a small table player, I rarely get the chance to sit in the same table with him. He was waiting for something and he decided to sit at my table. It’s always good to have someone who knows what they’re doing on the same table. They dictate the action and it’s easier to follow than the more aggressive plays the less experienced players tend to dictate. I consider myself to be a decent player but I’ve never dominated the flow of the action.

Rini and I were about to leave but since he sat down, we played a few more orbits than what was pre-arranged. We were talking with Bitoy about the days in 41o to which I commented that Bitoy was a benefactor of my poker tuition. Shortly after that he cracked my pocket aces with a runner-runner straight. At first Bitoy couldn’t remember me but then he remembered that I was Ronnel’s friend. He mentioned that Ronnel had moved on to the big table and I was still at the small table. Then I won with a runner-runner straight against his top pair. Then he joked that it’s probably why Ronnel moved up and I was still playing 10/20. Of course the main reason was that I didn’t have the bankroll for the higher stakes but that was beside the point.

Then Edward sat down. You can see how the action on the table changed after he did. Bitoy and Edward were in every other hand and it was pretty clear that the cards didn’t matter. They were simply out-playing the rest of the players. 2 big table players in the same small table, the newer players didn’t have a chance. The table eventually collapsed after Edward busted 3 players.

The session ended with me having a decent profit.

No more poker table...

This morning, my friend Mogs took my poker table. He’s going to sell it for me. My condo unit looks empty without the poker table there. I guess it’s a sign that I have to move on and play online.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Poker Chips For Sale

When I was starting to learn poker, I just had to have a set of poker chips. Only a few people had poker chips then so I bought a set. After a while, poker chips were not enough and I had a poker table made. After a few poker nights, having complete poker set (table and all) lost its allure. I've stopped inviting people over to play poker because frankly, I got tired of cleaning up after them. I seldom bring my poker chips to friends' houses when there are get-togethers because I've been playing so much and rarely see my friends that I'd rather not play.
Which was why I sold my poker table. And which is why I'm selling my poker chips. It's the same set that I bought except I can't throw in the cards. The cards that came with the set are worn and I wouldn't want to part with my other decks of cards. I'll consider throwing in the Modiano big font style cards but it depends on the offer. So what's included is the 300 piece poker chips, dealer button, small blind button, big blind button, 5 dice, a case. I haven't decided on how much to sell it for because I can't remember how much I bought it for, but you can leave a comment with your offer and then we'll talk.
Oh, and I can only sell it within Metro Manila, Philippines.

Philippine Blog Contest

I've entered my blog to the Philippine Blog Contest. I hope I win. Please support.

Philippines Blog Contest

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Poker Experiment

You watch Survivor and during those parts when the castaways talk to the camera, their names appear below the screen and right below it and their occupation. As if being a bartender has anything to do with what they're actually doing in that remote place but it still gives the audience a background about the castaway. What we do actually does, to a certain extent, define how we think and what we do outside of work.

I've always had this scenario in mind, a poker tournament where players are from different backgrounds. Some possible players would be a theater actor, a lawyer, a psychologist, a mathematician, a professional gambler, a detective, a movie critic, a hypnotist, a beauty queen, an accountant, an economist, an entrepreneur, a manager, a radio disk jockey, etc. And since this is theoretical, Nemo and Shrek's friend Donkey. It is assumed that those who are included can be considered top in their field and that they have never played poker before.

The actor probably can bluff and slowplay his way to being the winner but the movie critic can spot the slightest bit of bad acting and the detective is trained to spot certain tells. The mathematician can compute the odds but the economist will know how to manage his stack but the psychologist probably doesn't need to look at his cards. The hypnotist can make you do anything but the beauty queen is just so beautiful no one can pay attention to the game. The tournament can go any which way but moving it another notch, it can be a series of tournaments and they have the chance of improving their game. Who would be the consistent winner? Some of the top professional poker players have a deep understanding of math but who's to say that only a mathematician can be successful in poker?