Hello all, welcome to my online poker blog.

I've been playing on and off for a decade after being introduced by a friend.

I played regularly for a few years during the poker boom and had a decent record at the micros, particularly Rush and Zoom No Limit Hold'em games (here's one of my graphs).

Around 2012 I began a new career which involved immersing myself completely in study in my spare time, so I had little to no time for poker. However recently this burden has eased and so I have been gradually dipping back in.

I'm an amateur player who still hopes to some day beat the rake.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Micro Time Tourneys

Hi all,

Just playing a few tournaments at the moment and trying my hand at the PokerStars 'Time Tourneys'.

It seems to me that these attract a large number of gamblers and casual players given the number of bizarre hands people are getting all-in with before the time runs out.

Given that the equity is shared out to the remaining players based on stack size should it not work like the bubble of a tournament when time gets short? Unless I'm missing some obvious mathematics, if you have a strategy that is chip winning on average and you obey basic bubble risk management I'd be surprised if this didn't equate to a nice ROI.

Of course at higher stakes I imagine these are full of ICM experts but at the Micros should be solid money here. Not to mention these are pretty damn fun to play!

If anyone else has thoughts on these or if my maths is way out please post below!



I've had a chance to look at these more closely, and actually, I was making a foolish mathematical mistake as it seems that the ICM isn't required at all and time is only relevant when thinking in terms of 'hourly' win rates.

The prize money is distributed calculated on your % of chips as a % of total chips in play. So it's just a cash game dressed as a tournament. I can demonstrate the maths with a simple hand that I misplayed just now.

PokerStars Hand #167394871397: Tournament #1843138363, $2.00+$0.20 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level III (300/600) - 2017/03/10 19:32:44 WET [2017/03/10 14:32:44 ET]
Table '1843138363 7' 9-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: MrSmacks (2560 in chips)
Seat 2: AlwaysFoldAc (13020 in chips)
Seat 3: seikopiet (10180 in chips)
Seat 4: kushnerev A. (9240 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 5: BankoBet (2900 in chips)
Seat 6: pedrojam (6200 in chips)
Seat 7: ShellShark1 (2380 in chips)
Seat 8: vestjyden54 (8540 in chips)
Seat 9: pavlovsdoc (15820 in chips)
MrSmacks: posts the ante 60
AlwaysFoldAc: posts the ante 60
seikopiet: posts the ante 60
kushnerev A.: posts the ante 60
BankoBet: posts the ante 60
pedrojam: posts the ante 60
ShellShark1: posts the ante 60
vestjyden54: posts the ante 60
pavlovsdoc: posts the ante 60
kushnerev A.: posts small blind 300
BankoBet: posts big blind 600
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankoBet [8d 8s]
pedrojam: folds
kushnerev A. has returned
ShellShark1: folds
vestjyden54: folds
pavlovsdoc: folds
MrSmacks: folds
AlwaysFoldAc: raises 1200 to 1800
seikopiet: calls 1800
kushnerev A.: calls 1500
BankoBet has timed out
BankoBet: folds
*** FLOP *** [5c 4d Js]
BankoBet is sitting out
BankoBet has returned
kushnerev A.: checks
AlwaysFoldAc: bets 11160 and is all-in
seikopiet: folds
kushnerev A.: folds
Uncalled bet (11160) returned to AlwaysFoldAc
AlwaysFoldAc collected 6540 from pot
AlwaysFoldAc: doesn't show hand
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 6540 | Rake 0
Board [5c 4d Js]
Seat 1: MrSmacks folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: AlwaysFoldAc collected (6540)
Seat 3: seikopiet (button) folded on the Flop
Seat 4: kushnerev A. (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 5: BankoBet (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: pedrojam folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: ShellShark1 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: vestjyden54 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: pavlovsdoc folded before Flop (didn't bet)
I'll give you a moment to stop laughing at my fold...

So giving some rough ranges to my opponents and assuming a call puts me all-in (which it effectively does) lets assign me 30% equity in a four-way pot. The prize pool is $522 and there were 261 players hence 783,000 total chips in play. At the start of the tournament each player's stack has equity of 3000/783000 x $522 = $2 or $0.0007 per chip.

In the hand, my expected value if I fold is (2240/783000) x $522 = $1.49 and $0.0007 per chip.
If I call, it is 30% x ((1440 + 8960)/783000) x $522 = $2.079 so it's a very easy call in reality.
The $6.93 stack if I won would be worth $0.0007 per chip.

Chip value never changes so it's essentially a cash game with loose players.

As a caveat though, rake is steep at 10% in these tournaments so whether the general looseness compensates for the high tax I'm not sure.

But I enjoyed being able to play for a fixed time, so I might dip into these again. Anyone with a decent understanding of pot odds should do OK.


As a general update, I don't play much any more, just when I feel like it. So I'm certainly not a winner any more, but it's kind of refreshing to play for fun (as I did once long ago) without putting loads of pressure on myself to play mistake free poker.

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