Be My Poker Valentine

Full Tilt Crestline Gate

I’m up, I’m down, I’m up, I’m down, I get JJ and get busted by a backdoor flush.

Full Tilt Flash

285 hands per hour. Is that too many? I play for 16 minutes, I hit 17.5BB/100 but I’ve been underwater most of the time.

Full Tilt Mach 10

I never manage to get above even over 12 minutes and a double-ended flush draw on the flop goes nowhere to knock me out.

Full Tilt Midnight Madness! (1,500 chips)

My first hand and I can’t resist going all-in with KT on a flop of 6d 4c 5d]. Of course no more diamonds show and the best I have is a match to my ten on the river against pocket queens. I buy in with another entry and try to play it a bit close to the vest but when people are beating your K9 with 6T, it’s time to hang it up. OK, maybe I deserved to lose pushing with my 99 on a J66 board, but not to J7.

Full Tilt $2,500 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Had a couple of successes but I was determined not to suffer the fate of my brash Madness! attempts. Unfortunately, after flopping a king-high straight in my first half-hour the cards dried up and I was blinded off from 4,000 down to about 2,500 over most of the course of my 100 minutes of play. A large stack with AJ put paid to my A5 and another player’s AK in one swoop.

Full Tilt $10,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

I got into this half an hour in, at the 30/60 level but half the field had been eliminated already. That made the top stacks a bit difficult to catch but potentially my standing was closer to the money. I think that was probably an illusion though. Got knocked out with 8T in my hand and A5K on the flop. Guy to my left had 9Q for the nut flush.

Full Tilt Step 1 18-Player

First out. Straight got me.

Full Tilt Step 1

Slow and steady wins the Step 2 ticket. I need to figure out what I’m doing here that I’m not doing elsewhere.

Queue Seven

So I realized where had gone wrong in their evaluation of the so-called “computer hand” of Q7o.

As the legend has it and my own evaluator showed, Q7o is the hand just above the 50% mark in heads-up matches. Q7o has a very slight statistical edge (winning 50.56%) against random hands when the board runs out to the river. The entry for “Computer Hand” at, however, claims that the Poker Stove application “Q-7 shows 51.77% equity versus a random hand.”

The problem arises from a misunderstanding by the folks at of what Poker Stove calculates. As the Poker Stove FAQ itself states (emphasis added):

What does PokerStove calculate?

The values generated are all-in equity values. This is not the chance that a hand will win the pot. Rather it is the fraction of the pot that a hand will win on average over many repeated trials, including split pots.

So what we’ve got here is a sort of apples and oranges comparison. The “computer hand” specification is precisely about how often a hand will win. Poker Stove is making an entirely different evaluation.

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

52 Step-Up

I really can’t let a backlog like this keep building up!

Full Tilt Step 1 (1,500 chips)

Trying to get back on the Steps train. Lost 420 chips with J8 double-paired in my hand when the board went JT786 and my opponent went all-in on the river. Uncharacteristically, I didn’t take a chance on him having a 9. Lost half of my remaining chips when the board turned up four hearts and I backed down. I made it back up over 1,000 a couple of times over 35 minutes but it didn’t go anywhere.

Full Tilt Step Midnight Madness! (1,500 chips)

Thirteen minutes in, went all-in with TA on second pair and got caught by a AK with top pair.

Full Tilt $2,500 KO Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Only six hands. KK lost me 400 off the bat and AT double-paired on the flop lost out to pocket kings that tripped, likewise.

Full Tilt Step 1 Turbo (1,500 chips)

27 minutes. Finished fourth to get another Step 1 ticket.

Full Tilt Step 1 Turbo (1,500 chips)

Finished third after 33 minutes. Still at Step 1.

Full Tilt Step 1 (1,500 chips)

Three quarters of an hour and still only placed fifth. No better, no worse.

Full Tilt Step 1 (1,500 chips)

Guess I should have stuck with the turbo games. That and I shouldn’t play A5o or a pair of eights.

Full Tilt Step 1 18-Players (1,500 chips)

I like these two-table variations. For one thing, the top four slots make it into the next step. For another, there’s just more room to maneuver. I managed to bulk up early and stay near the top without making any dumb moves. Back to Step 2.

Full Tilt Step 2 Turbo (1,500 chips)

Half an hour puts me in third. I’ve been letting the two smaller stacks contest with each other, but call the big blind’s all-in with QJ and lose half my stack. No movement.

Full Tilt Step 2 18-Player (1,500 chips)

Disaster strikes. I pick up Q9 and the flop is 2Q3. I bet 200 from UTG (with 200 in the pot pre-flop) and get a call from the cutoff. As the 4 and then the A show he represents a strong hand but I don’t believe him. I should have, though because his 32 had me beat from the beginning. Off the steps again in seventeenth place.

Full Tilt Step 1 Turbo (1,500 chips)

I just maintain in this it seems like, but it’s enough to keep me in the running. Fifth place and a Step 1 ticket.