Saturday, 2 November 2013

ICMIZER vs SNG WIZARD

My latest post on the ICMIZER website has been published and can be read here:

http://www.pokericmcalculator.com/en-us/blog/icmizer-vs-sng-wizard-2013/

In this post, I evaluate and compare the two most popular ICM calculators on the market, ICMIZER and SNG Wizard.

As always, here’s a quick snippet to whet your appetite:
 
Raise-call function

Since we’ve established no more actions can be accounted for once the hero has put chips in the pot, the Wizard is unable to calculate raise-call/inducing spots i.e. the hero opens with a raise and then faces a shove. ICMIZER on the other hand has a raise-call function which is very useful since you can calculate exactly what you can profitably induce with against an opponent once you open and they shove. To make this possible in the Wizard, you would have to re-arrange the stack sizes and situate the hero in the BB facing a shove. Unless you can alter the blinds to replicate the scenario to the exact, this will produce inaccurate and if anything, more conservative results since the pot odds will be different as the hero will have fewer chips invested.
Let’s firstly take a look at an example in ICMIZER:



MikeyMcD45

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A humorous fold

Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 1: Hero (755 in chips)
Seat 2: Player 1 (1718 in chips)
Seat 4: Villain (3952 in chips)
Seat 5: Player 2 (740 in chips)
Seat 6: Player 3 (1835 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 50
Player 1: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qd As]
Villain: raises 200 to 300
Player 2: folds
Player 3: folds
Hero: raises 400 to 700
Player 1: folds
Villain: calls 400
*** FLOP *** [Th 3d 5c]
Hero: bets 55 and is all-in
Villain: folds
Uncalled bet (55) returned to Hero
Hero collected 1500 from pot
Hero: doesn't show hand

Two updates in one day, you guys are lucky!
Sometimes you see things in SNGs that never fail to amaze you and I had a hand come up earlier that was too good I had no option but to come on and share.

So, first things first, my opponent makes a promise-to-call 3x raise from middle position and dealt A-Qo in the SB with 7.6bbs I have a no brainer shove. Instead of shoving however, I misclick raised to 700 leaving just 55 chips behind. My opponent calls.
The flop falls 10-5-3 rainbow and oh well, nothing to do but shove those 55 chips into the pot which is sitting at exactly 1500 right now and hope my opponent has a worse A high or a hand like K-J/K-Q which we’re ahead of.

And then something incredible happens…My opponent folds!
WTF?!?! Really?…Are those pot odds of 28.27 to 1 not good enough?

Even my dead great Gran knows this is a bad fold. It’s worth thinking about just how bad exactly this might be, so let’s take a look at the relevant numbers.


The numbers

With pot odds of 28.27 to 1, my opponent only needs to have exactly 3% equity against my range to break-even and anything >3% will win money. Against my actual hand, even if he had 9d-2c (no backdoor flush draws) he still has 23.13% equity according to Pokerstove which makes folding seem truly horrendous since only anything above 3% is required. And infact, with these overwhelming pot odds there is no hand that would ever be a fold here regardless of my range pretty much: if my range was simply pocket As which it clearly isn’t, even that 9d-2c has 3.939% equity against that hand/range on the flop meaning mathematically there is no hand that would ever warrant a fold here unless my range was limited to a set/two pair on this board which we can safely say isn't.
Indeed, if he had 2-9o and I had A-A he would need to backdoor a running two pair/trips which obviously isn’t going to happen too often but the fact is it doesn’t need to happen too often to make calling profitable given what’s already in the pot and what he stands to lose/gain by committing those extra chips. The fact of the matter is, even if you had that 2-9o in Villains position and the Hero shoved all-in on the flop and flipped over pocket As for you to observe, you would still be calling off. Hopefully those are the sort of plays that players of this calibre are making on a regular basis and keeping poker profitable. At least we know there’s still money in SNGs…for now…

I guess I’m kind of glad now I misclicked pre-flop and manufactured that extra bit of fold equity post-flop!
Peace out

MikeyMcD45
 

Nash Equilibrium

 
So my latest article for the official ICMIZER website has been published and can be read here:
 
 
In this article, I explain what Nash Equilibrium is when it comes to poker whilst highlighting some of its limitations, and evaluate the Nash calculator function in ICMIZER. This feature was in beta for quite some time but has been fully developed and is now good to use.


In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the article:
One of the most common situations in poker where people adopt Nash ranges is HU at high blind levels against a tough opponent. This limits any edge your opponent has over you and any shove you make is unexploitable so can’t be wrong. If you revert to this style of play then your opponent will have to do the same to avoid being exploited. Usually, the caller will do better since their range is tighter so when stacks end up all-in the caller will have a stronger range; this however is balanced with the fact that the pusher picks up the blinds more often, so in the long run the number of chips lost and won will be equal therefore it’s a break-even proposition for both player’s.

MikeyMcD45

 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Getting owned

Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 1: Player 1 (1340 in chips)
Seat 2: Player 2 (1680 in chips)
Seat 3: Player 3 (1010 in chips)
Seat 4: Player 4 (1700 in chips)
Seat 5: Hero (1800 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain (1470 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 15
Villain: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [8d Ah]
Player 1: folds
Player 2: folds
Player 3: folds
Player 4: folds
Hero: raises 60 to 90
Villain: calls 60
*** FLOP *** [Ac Qh 8c]
Hero: bets 125
Villain: calls 125
*** TURN *** [Ac Qh 8c] [9h]
Hero: bets 235
Villain: calls 235
*** RIVER *** [Ac Qh 8c 9h] [2c]
Hero: bets 289
Villain: raises 731 to 1020 and is all-in
Hero has timed out
Hero: folds
Uncalled bet (731) returned to Villain
Hero is sitting out
Villain collected 1478 from pot
Villain: shows [Qd Jd] (a pair of Queens)

It seems that player's when posting hands tend to just post hands they’ve played well or when they've outclassed an opponent – very rarely do you see people post misplayed hands and explain their wrongdoings. I think part of the reason is poker players don’t like to admit their own mistakes so will often ignore them altogether or somehow seek false justification. Hell, I’ve even been guilty of doing that in this blog so far, so in today’s post, I would like to break down a hand I played recently where I arguably made a mistake and my opponent forced me off the best hand with a nicely timed river jam.

PRE-FLOP

So it’s folded round to me in the SB and I’m dealt A-8o. It’s early on in the tournament so I’m not gunning to play a big pot with this hand out of position but against a regular who is likely to attack passivity I see no other option than to make my standard 3x raise. This is preferred to 2.5xn since will lay him slightly inferior odds and at a positional disadvantage I would have no problem in ending the hand right here. My opponent calls however, and we’re off to a flop.

FLOP: Ac-Qh-8c

So, it’s pretty much as good a flop as I could have hoped for – we flop top and bottom pair and it’s time to build a pot. You’ll often see weak players check here because they want to “slowplay” their hand and get more value in the remaining betting streets. Not only is that flawed since if your opponent has a piece they may be willing to call a bet now meaning the bets going in on the end will be bigger, but you’re also allowing draws the option of a free card and so further missing out on value. Besides, if betting out is usually what you do when you miss then it only makes sense you c-bet when you hit – this is most likely to get action from your opponent’s entire range, and is the least suspicious way to play it since you would typically be betting missed hands on this board since it would appear to solidly hit your range.

I elect for an almost ¾ pot bet and my opponent calls. Even though we’ve flopped a very strong hand, there’s a range of flush draws/straight draws out there so this bet is preferred to around half pot and really anything up to 150 would be fine. At this point, his range is fairly open, he could have a pair of As, a Q (K-Q/Q-J/Q-10 most likely), J-10 for a double gut-shot and a flush draw. It’s possible he may float with air to attack passivity on the turn, although this particular opponent folds to flop bets 78% of the time so it’s more than likely he doesn’t have complete air as a float, especially on this board since it would appear to solidly connect with my range. Nonetheless, we can evaluate on the turn since it’s unlikely an opponent with such a high fold to flop bet would elect to float the turn to bluff on the river, especially this early on when excessive risks aren’t needed as such.

TURN: 9h

So, the turn is a 9 of hearts which is a decent enough card. There’s not many hands that we were ahead of on the flop but aren’t ahead of now – J-10 and A-9 would appear to be the only obvious ones. It’s more than likely he would 3bet pre-flop with a hand as strong as A-Q and he would most certainly 3bet any pocket pair that’s hit a set on this board, so the chances are we still have the best hand. Instead, it’s more likely he’s holding a pair of As, a Q or a flush draw (perhaps a flush/gut-shot combination like K-J/K-10 of clubs) so with this in mind it would seem like a good spot to bet again. As far as I can see, there’s 0 value to checking and giving draws the option of taking a free card, especially on this turn which brings a series of gut-shots for hands he may be holding like A-10/Q-J/Q-10. Besides, it’s tough to know what to do on the river if we check-call the turn and go on to face a big river bet – it’s usually much easier to know where you’re at/put your opponent on a range when you’re the aggressor so will make the hand easier to play for most part.

All things considered, I decide to stick in a bet of just over half pot, 235 into 430. This is fairly likely to get called by worse As whilst denies him the sufficient pot odds he needs to profitably call with a draw with just one card to come. With odds of 2.83 to 1, he’ll need at least 26% equity to call and flush draws will usually have around 20% equity with just one card to come whilst gut-shots will have considerably less. This bet will also set things up nicely for a reasonably sized river bet depending on what card comes. So, my opponent calls once more, and we’re going to a river.
RIVER: 2c

So, the river brings the 2c completing any flush draw so isn’t my favourite card. This leaves us in a rather awkward situation with 900 in the pot and stacks of just over 1k behind. We reasoned on the turn that we were ahead of a single pair of As and Qs so that remains true on the river whilst we’re now behind flushes as well as the J-10 straight. It therefore doesn’t seem very clear cut as to what's the best move between betting and checking, and if betting, the question remains, how much? Let’s think about the pro’s and cons of each move:

Betting

1.    A bet of ¾ pot or more would likely fold out any hand we’re ahead of such as a pair of As or Qs with the wet run out of the board, so would appear to destroy the value of our hand.
2.    A bet of any more than 500 will likely commit us to calling off if he shoves which we definitely won’t be too happy about.
3.    A blocker bet of around 1/3rd pot is much more likely to get paid off by a pair of As or Qs which may sigh call with overwhelming pot odds. However, this bet would also appear weak to a thinking player so this may encourage moves from worse hands and if so, will be very tough to call.
Checking

4.    There would be no issues in check-calling a fairly small bet since betting small would be totally fine and we would have good pot odds, but it will be unclear what to do when we check and face a big bet.
Given we could just as easily be behind as ahead here, we would rather avoid pot committal issues which removes options 1 and 2. This leaves us with the options of blocker betting around third pot or checking. In this instance, I elected for a blocker bet of 289 into the pot of 900 reasoning at the time my opponent is likely to pay off this bet with any pair of As or Qs with excellent pot odds and erring on the side of being tight was unlikely to raise as a bluff. That’s where my estimations of this opponent were wrong!

The outcome

My opponent stacks all-in, and I have to stick to my plan on folding vs a shove, and my opponent reveals Q-J for second pair turned into a bluff. Somebody got owned!

A lot of people may well question his play since Q-J would appear to be nothing than a bluff-catching hand on this river meaning his options would be limited to call/fold but it’s actually an excellent play. Once I bet 289 my opponent most likely reasons he’s behind in the hand – this means he would rather not reluctantly pay me off and lose more chips. However, he probably also reasons that a lot of my value hands are now sitting less pretty and this river card is an excellent card for him to rep as a bluff. It completes draws that from my POV he could be holding and moreover, is a scare card for many one and two pair hands I’ll be timidly value betting in this spot. After all, if I was looking for serious value on this river, wouldn’t I bet more? He probably expects me to bet more with my flushes/straights so the strength of my hand is  revealed to him by this bet. Whether he expects me to fold a hand as strong as A-8 remains unclear, but he has recognised I’m a good enough player who can fold strong hands when the situation is right so his estimations are spot on in this hand. Needless to say, if he tried to pull off this move against a loose-passive calling station it wouldn’t be very good since they would be unlikely to fold a hand like A-8 even on this board.

What’s particularly interesting about this river is if I check my opponent will most likely check since he’s ahead of all of my bluffs and can’t know I’m not planning a check-call, so for most part the action should go check-check and I should scoop the pot. Instead, I've bet and ended up not only conceding the money in the pot but also another bet to go along with it.
So where did I go wrong?

As we've addressed, when I’ve bet small against this type of opponent, he’s reasoned he’s behind but correctly interpreted the bet as weak/scared of the board run out and has turned a bluff catching hand into a stone cold bluff, so my mistake was betting so weak into a tight-aggressive regular who is thinking about what bet sizing’s mean and is capable of making moves when the situation presents itself. The mistake isn't necessarily betting but the bet sizing in this case. The bet of 289 really does appear weak and even if we made it 389 (adding on only an extra 100 chips) this may have dissuaded him from making a move as it appears that much stronger (it is conceivable we could bet this amount with a flush) and he would appear to have less fold equity on a shove.

So, the question remains: To bet or to check?

Of course, betting small does do well if he has a hand like A-J/A-10 or even A7< as he's unlikely to turn those hands into a bluff and instead pay me off, whilst loses the minimum to straights/flushes assuming we're still bet-folding so there is definitely a good argument for betting in this spot. Truth be told, the EV of betting and checking must be pretty close and it may well be betting is more +EV against mass tabling regs who are unlikely to turn their worse hands into bluffs and play more straightforward in this spot, whereas checking may be more +EV against a creative player with less tables who has more time to think through the situation. The bottom line is, if electing to bet you must ensure it's not so small that it appears really weak and defensive otherwise you're just leaving your opponent room for a move and you would be playing a guessing game calling off.

There is no doubt blocker betting against a loose-passive player who is very likely to pay this bet off with any worse hand and super unlikely to raise as a bluff would be the best move, and perhaps even against a tight player with no finesse moves. That more or less guarantees us value when we’re ahead and we can be fairly comfortable bet-folding knowing where we’re at – the same can't be said for when we're up against a creative, thinking reg. As it was, in the actual situation, I was unfortunate to run into that small part of my opponent's range that could be turned into bluffs, and was unfortunate my opponent made what in my opinion was an excellent shove. Of course, this wasn't helped by my super small bet which was a crying sign of weakness and so all I can do is kick myself and congratulate my opponent on a nicely timed move.

Live long and prosper

MikeyMcD45

 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Calling the fuck off

Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 4: Hero (4868 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain (4132 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 75
Villain: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Tc 3c]
Hero: calls 75
Villain: checks
*** FLOP *** [4c Td 9d]
Villain: checks
Hero: bets 180
Villain: raises 330 to 510
Hero: calls 330
*** TURN *** [4c Td 9d] [Ah]
Villain: bets 690
Hero: calls 690
*** RIVER *** [4c Td 9d Ah] [Qs]
Villain: bets 2782 and is all-in
Hero: calls 2782
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [6d 8c] (high card Ace)
Hero: shows [Tc 3c] (a pair of Tens)
Hero collected 8264 from pot

In this post, I really just wanted to show you how what may appear a difficult call actually becomes an easy one when you break down your opponent’s range in line with the board changing. There’s not a lot worth mentioning about my opponent other than he is a solid aggressive reg.
PRE-FLOP:

So, I’ve got 10-3 suited and getting 3 to 1 this is definitely worth a limp. I’ve hammered on about this in previous posts so won’t go into too much detail: 10-3 suited has exactly 45.7% equity against a random hand and with 3 to 1 odds all we will need is anything >25% equity to make limping profitable assuming we see the 5 card community board. This makes limping preferred to folding.

FLOP: 4c-10d-9d
So, I flop a rather weak top pair on a reasonably wet board. My opponent checks to me and with a myriad of flush and straight draws I must bet for value and protection since my hand is clearly vulnerable to all those draws and potentially overcards. A bet of 180 into 300 looks good, and my opponent slides in a check-raise to 510. With his pre-flop check we can almost certainly remove any overpairs from his range, so his range is fairly open to a pair of 10s, any two pair combination as well as any straight draw/gut-shot or flush draw. Check-raising with a draw is quite often a good line since if your opponent checks you gain a free card and can fire the turn, if your opponent folds you win some chips with an unmade hand (more so than if you had bet out) and if your opponent calls you can still improve, so it is conceivable my opponent being a good reg may take this line with his draws. Obviously since we’re ahead of the majority of that range we estimated and since we have a pair of 10s (reducing the combinations of flopped 2 pairs he can have) we have a fairly easy call.

TURN: Ah
So, the turn brings an A and my opponent fires a bet of 690 into a pot of 1320.

This would appear to be a scare card for both of us. If my opponent had a pair of 10s he may well check and allow me to make some goofy bluff attempt at repping the A – after all, I didn’t raise pre-flop so from his point of view the A can’t have helped me. However, this just means it’s not really a scare card so if he was ahead on the flop he’ll still be ahead now, and there’s plenty of draws I could have in my range so betting with a lone pair of 10s would definitely make sense. You might see a lot of weaker players checking a pair of 10s here fearful of that A. Realising that the A doesn’t constitute a massive part of my range with my pre-flop limp he may also continue with his draws and any air hands he has in hope that I may toss some weak hands such as a pair of 9s or even a weak pair of 10s which isn't looking so pretty. I can be fairly certain myself my opponent doesn’t have an A with his pre-flop check so at this point all we can say is his range is still open to a pair of 10s, flopped two pairs and draws. There’s more draws he can have in his range with the fairly wet board texture than flopped 2 pairs (especially since we hold a 10) so with this in mind it makes sense to call and evaluate on the river.
RIVER: Qs

The rivers another overcard making my hand less pretty than it already was on the turn.
My opponent quickly stacks 2.7k all-in for a pot sized bet. This gives me pot odds of almost 2 to 1 and I’ll only need to be good here around 34% of the time to make calling off profitable; in other words, I'll need my opponent to be bluffing around 1 in 3 times to make money on the call. That’s all well and good, but how likely is it I’ll have at least 34% equity here? What about my opponent’s range?

This is where the narrowing down of my opponent’s range really begins:
We concluded that when the A came on the turn my opponent could still be betting some 10s for value and protection against those draws. When he stacks all-in on the river however, we can confidently remove a pair of 10s from his range. Shoving all-in with a mediocre hand like third pair here will typically only get called by better hands whilst folding out anything worse including any busted straight or flush draw that I may have, so it would make sense to check and invite a bluffing range from some of those missed draws. Whilst, if he had a hand like KQ/QJ/Q8 for a draw that rivered a pair of Qs the same applies: he would most likely check to induce a bluff or perhaps value bet really thin to get called by a pair of 9s/10s than shove and destroy the value of those hands. We also deduced on the turn that the A isn’t part of his range with his pre-flop check, so what does that leave us with?

That pretty much leaves us with a flopped two pair or a busted draw or perhaps complete air. We previously concluded that there’s more combinations of draws he could have than flopped 2 pairs, especially since we hold a 10. Furthermore, from his point of view missed draws are still part of my range so this gives him good reason to jam complete air or a weak busted gut-shot/straight or flush draw since it’s possible I may be holding a better draw that may win at showdown but cannot call a bet. And remember, I can’t have the A either with my pre-flop limp so he may feel he’ll be able to induce a pair of 9s or 10s into folding. One mistake people tend to make here is folding on the basis their hand isn't so pretty. However, having broken down our opponent's range to essentially 2 pair or complete air then holding a hand as weak as 10-3 is really the same as having A-K in this spot; if our opponent won't value bet any hand that's better than 10-3 nor worse than A-K (which I highly suspect to be true) then our hand holds as much value as A-K and we shouldn't avoid calling out of fear just because our hand isn't excellent. If anything, 10-3 is stronger than A-K here since we block the number of flopped/rivered 2 pair combinations he can have since we eliminated the possibility of him having A-x here.

It’s also worth strongly taking into consideration the speed of his jam: he jammed instantly and even a hand as strong as 2 pair should give some consideration to checking or at least take more time to plan out the most +EV move since our range should be full of missed draws. This makes it all the likelier that he is indeed bluffing. All this combined with the fact that my opponent’s aggressive, I’m getting 2 to 1 and he’s not really repping anything that believable meant I took about 2 seconds to call the fuck off, and my opponent indeed tabled 8-6o for a busted straight draw.

Live long and prosper
MikeyMcD45

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

ICMIZER article

So my second article for the official ICMIZER website has been published and is so far picking up a decent number of likes!

You can check out the article here:
http://www.pokericmcalculator.com
The article discusses in great depths playing the short stack on the bubble, particularly focusing on call ranges against the big stack. This is a very commonly misplayed spot in poker and this article will show how you can eliminate these common mistakes and maximise your $EV in these awkward situations.
Feel free to post in the comments!

 
A sneak preview:

 

The result

And what do you know...

We can only call off with 5% in this spot and it loses money to call with A-Qo. It's not uncommon to see players snap call with A-Qo and even much wider and to do so is simply throwing your money away. Calling off with A-8 suited for instance costs more than 1% of the prize pool which is pretty criminal but something you'll observe fairly often. And remember, this is against a big stack who knows ICM and elects to shove almost any two cards here; if you were up against a tight BTN or a player who didn't know ICM and the power of their big stack then they would be pushing way tighter than this range which in turn means the hero's range for calling off would be tighter.


That’s all for now folks!

My next article to be published on the ICMIZER site will be covering some of the features of ICMIZER and evaluating it with similar tools such as SNG Wizard, so keep your eyes peeled!

Live long and propser
MikeyMcD45

Monday, 9 September 2013

Albufeira report

It’s the 10th of September and I’ve officially been home from Albufeira for 6 days… *sigh*…

Front window of apartment

In my “Life Update/Future” post in July I briefly touched up on the fact I had moved to Albufeira in June to grind for a few months. Well that time is now up and I’m back in Sunny Scotland….or should I say, constantly pissing it down with rain freezing Scotland….BLLAHHHH!!!!!
Anyway, I wanted to do a mini report on Albufeira for anyone considering going there and to bang some photos up.
 
Apartment living room

Apartment:
As you can see from a few of the photos I’ve uploaded (more at the bottom of page), we were staying in a super old school Portuguese style 2 bedroom apartment. Having been born in 1989 I’ve never lived in 1955 but fuck, it sort of felt like it with the tacky wall and floor design – I would never choose to live in an apartment like that but given we didn’t have a place to stay the day before jetting out we weren’t left with much options! It was also pretty compact in size; ideally I would have rather moved into an apartment with an extra room to set up a grind room and have a separate main living room but beggars can’t be choosers and I was just delighted we had an apartment to stay in before flying out.

Chillin' in the old town, I'm the dude 2nd from left, my stakee is far left

Location/Nightlife:
These drawbacks however were more than made up for in apartment price and location. The rent cost 600 euros a month including bills which isn’t bad at all split 2 ways. The location was nothing short of pure vomit whitey sick: we were living less than a minute’s walk away from Albufeira Square/bar street which is where everything’s going on in the old town and a further 1-2 minute walk to the beach.

The square and bar street are just packed with loads of restaurants, bars and disco bars – most of which stay open till 4am and sometimes later if there were any events on. There were a few solid live music bars in the Square, most notably Vertigo and Rock CafĂ© which had some cover bands belting out the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Whilst classic 60s/70s rock isn’t my thing, I was impressed with a few of the bands and the live music scene in general in Albufeira. If you wanted to keep partying till 6am/7am you could easily jump in a cab and head to the new town – that cost around 5-6 euros from the square and was only a couple of minutes away in a taxi so wasn’t bad at all!

It was also pretty convenient living so close to the beach given our usual wake up time was anywhere tween 2.30pm and 5pm (standard!!) so allowed us to quickly swoop down and soak up some sun. Standard bed time was anywhere between 6am and 9am before you call me lazy!


Beach at 6am, walking home after night out in new town
 
The costs of living:

The costs of living were all round pretty decent too. There were enough markets to shop from and the cost of food probably worked out at a similar price to the UK. One downside was the prices of drinks in the disco bars, although this is probably no different from any other tourist resort. You were typically looking at 5 euros for a vodka mix, and there was even a place in bar street that had the arrogance to charge 8 euros, maaaaaad!

Anyway, it ended up not being too bad for us; we found a few pubs where you could get a pint for 2-3 euros, and if we wanted an epic night out we would usually stock up on a litre of Smirnoff which cost 13 euros from one of the local shops which is pretty sick. Hhhhhmmmmm 6.5 euros to tank half a litre of vodka before going out or 5 euros for a single vodka mix? That’s a tough yeen!

Needless to say, we made sure to spend some good quality time pre-bevving at the apartment to ensure we got hammered. Most pre-bevving took place between 12am-2am, and it became the norm to head out around 2am. In Glasgow, your night’s pretty much finished by then so will be pretty weird adjusting to that and just the fact the area where I live in Glasgow is so quiet at night. Wish me luck!

Dancing in the apartment. You can make out some of my poker charts on the wall!

Things to do:

In terms of activities, there’s plenty to do! We took a day out to hit up the waterpark “Slide n Splash” and hired a pedalo for a couple of hours another day which was fun. Besides that, there’s plenty of other activities running that you can take part in like pub crawls, booze cruises whilst paragliding seemed to be one of the most popular outdoor activities. We probably should have spent more time doing more of the outdoor activities that were on offer, although I think we needed the beach on too many days to cure the inevitable hangover!


Tattoo place right round the corner from us. Luckily for us we didn't start drinking till night when it's closed!

Summing up
Our final month was easily the craziest!

From 11th August onwards there wasn’t a day where we didn’t have at least one friend over visiting, or exploiting our accommodation for free should I say! This meant from August 11th to September 4th, there was rarely a day where I wasn’t consuming alcohol – can’t say us Glaswegians don’t know how to drink!

As depressing as it may be to be back in Glasgow for various reasons, I’m actually pleased I’m giving my body some time to recover – my liver really did take a pounding out there and I’d be slightly concerned for my health doing another month out there at the same rate! Unfortunately, this basically meant in the final month poker was pretty much non-existent. I am back in Glasgow however, the nights are starting to draw in and I aim to get serious again volume wise in the final few months of the year.

Ring of fire drinking game. Not quite poker, but just as good!

All in all, I would definitely recommend Albufeira to anyone – either for living for a short period of time or vacation. There’s pretty much something there for everyone whether you wanna chill with the family or go batshit crazy with your buddies. We met some awesome people and I'd like to think one day I might be back.

Next year I’ll be moving away with my stakee to grind poker for a year, and at the moment it looks like there’s a great chance we’ll end up in Budapest in January. I’m also thinking about abandoning the idea of an SNE chase in 2014, and instead getting into the coaching side of things and balance that with playing. I am currently undecided and will trial the pace of SNE regardless in October and take things from there. More on that in the coming weeks!
 

Oh, and if you didn’t see my last post, I’m writing articles exclusively for the official ICMIZER website which can be found at http://www.pokericmcalculator.com
I’ll be writing hopefully between 2 and 4 articles per month and my first article (preview below) will be published very soon, so stay tuned! It should be sick!

Well, that brings a wrap, so until next time!
Live long and prosper

MikeyMcD45
 
 ICMIZER article preview:
ICM calculators although great for telling us the immediate EV of a move fail to account for the bigger picture i.e. what may happen in the following 5+ hands. With this in mind, it's worth thinking about what is likely to happen if we double up against the big stack here. We will become a clear mid-stack on the bubble so our opponent if any clue about ICM will raise and shove wider into us and with more equity to protect our all-in call ranges will tighten up which basically means we’ll have very poor future $EV.

 

More photos:
Bar street

 

 
Chillin' on a pedalo!

 

 
Just off the main square in old town!

 

 
My buddy playing guitar in the streets!

 

 
Getting up to no good at the waterpark!



Lil bit tipsy anyone?!
 
 
 
Smoking a fag. I don't even smoke!
 

Close up of TV in living room. Shame it was limited to Portuguese channels.



Apartment living room looking into the bedrooms



Kitchen