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Stories and Adventures of an Implied Millionaire

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The 2012 Main Event Final Table featured some pretty stellar play and the best champion we've ever seen in Greg Merson, but everyone's #pokerisdead overreaction was turned upside-down after the play at the Final Table of this year's WSOP ME. I thought there were some gems (used sarcastically) at the entire Final Table, but since I missed most of it I'll comment only on the HU hands while it's fresh in my mind.

Bear with me on stack sizes and bet sizes, they'll be as accurate as I can remember and largely irrelevant to the points I'm driving home.

1. [1m BB, ~40 BB effective] Farber minraises, Megatron 3-bets to 5BB, Farber 4-bets to ~9BB, Megatron 5-bets to 17.5BB, Farber folds. Farber: 55, Megatron: AJ.

On more than one occasion Farber made heinous mistakes with small pocket pairs. He *somehow* made JC Tran make a FTOP mistake by min 5-betting 66 BVB when they were ~7 handed, but wasn't so lucky when the tables were turned on him by Megatron 5-betting the AJo.

This hand got off to such a promising start, a minraise on the button with a pocket pair, a studly hand heads up! A 3-bet from a top 10% hand is a rousing second action, and both players should be gently but firmly patted on the back for their strong accomplishments. And that's the end of the good play for this one. Jay then decides to 4-bet 55 to a not all in amount, an error more grievous than General Vasquez himself.

What should he do instead? He has two swell options in fact, thanks for asking. He could: 1. Go all in. If Megatron is 3-bet calling AJ+ 88+ for value, we have just under 30% against a calling range, we win 7 BBs when he folds, we lose ~15 when he calls, so he has to be 3-bet folding just over twice as often as 3-bet calling (I'm not a math expert... no guarantees here)-- given his 3-bets of 82s, JXo, etc. I'd say this is definitely +EV 2. The safer play is to call. We have position and if we're up against a hand that wants to see five cards (face cards, basically), we can make it so that he can't. We can call and rip over a c-bet (which he'll probably do too often) on low boards, we can slowplay sets, we can just call the flop if he c-bets small enough (seems likely), sometimes we'll be able to bluff a hand like 99 with the right runout/action, etc.

Megatron's 5-bet to not all in is silly and unnecessary, he would be giving immediate pot odds for Farber to call with some suited crap.

2. [1m BB, ~90 BB effective] Megatron makes it 2.5 BB, Farber make its 4.5 BB (Megatron calls any two!), Megatron calls. KQ8r. Farber c-bets (some size that was too small) and Megatron raises (some size that was too small) and Farber folds. Farber: A8, Megatron: KT.

Megatron's open on the button is the only remotely reasonable play in the entire hand (okay, okay, he defended the 3-bet correctly as well). Farber chooses a terrible hand to 3-bet deep, A8o, and a terrible size to do it to, literally so small that Megatron can't possibly fold if he wants to respect himself in the morning (judging by his play, we can't guarantee that he does). Farber chooses a poor hand to c-bet on this flop, a dry flop where he can check call a bet from Megatron that'll probably lay an attractive price on the pot in a spot which isn't quite WA/WB, but is close enough that I want to have a polarized c-betting range against this guy and this hand would fall into the "check" category.

But I think the worst play in the entire hand is Megatron's flop raise. He's in position (something that generally looks favorably on seeing more cards come off) with a hand that is generally way ahead of Farber (needs no protection-- who wants to protection against 3 or 5 outs?!) but isn't so far ahead that he wants to stick in all of the bets (Farber actually has a sick hand to 3-bet bluff with here imo and Megatron's combos of something *awesome* are pretty low) and to top that all off he narrows his range (something else that people in position don't wanna do). I mean I can think of a worse hand to raise on the flop-- just kidding, I can't.

3. [1.2m BB, ~30 BB effective] Megatron makes it 2.5m, Farber calls. AA8r. Farber checks, Megatron bets 3m, Farber makes it 7.5m, Megatron calls. Turn 8. Farber checks, Megatron bets 10m, Farber folds. Farber: 53s, Megatron: T5o.

Do you know how often Farber has a value hand on AA8r if he's defending ~middle 50% of hands to the ~minraise? The short answer is basically never, and that's not even to mention the fact he probably shouldn't CR AX on the flop (although I guess he should given results!). Megatron's line is fine, good on him for sniffing out an obvious bluff. I think Farber was pretty over it at this point, frustrated from not making any hands and running terrible.

OK I only got to 3, so I'm only going to write about 3. Too tired to write anymore. And I'm not changing the title of the blog either.

Honorable mention: Megatron 4-bet QTo (!), Megatron called QJ on K3293ccc-- a bluff catcher that can lose to some bluffs (!!!), Farber folded 98o and Q8o to 3-bets (!), Megatron minraise/folded Q4o with ~11 bigs (!), Farber folded J5s and Q5o on the button with ~11 bigs (!).

edit: Another honorable mention hand that deserves it's own paragraph (and would've made the top 5): Farber defends 43o to a minraise (which is too loose imo, and I never thought I'd say that), then check calls turn and river on J949A. Real bad. Low in his range and Megatron is virtually never bluffing that runout/has a 9 (or an ace) always. I'd probably bet the turn and fold to further action if I somehow got there preflop.

The truth is that Farber actually played pretty good at times and had moments of genius (c'mon, dude CR bluffed turn and followed through on the river at the ME Final Table, boss for sure) but ran incredibly badly (and thus was frustrated and followed that up with some poor play) and his fundamentals definitely weren't there. At least he had a lot of heart.

Megatron with a pretty forgettable performance because of how hard he was smacked by the deck, but I'll give him enough props to say that he took advantage of some of the spots Farber offered up. Poor kid will never get to live down how many walks he gave the French Canadian guy 5+ handed... embarrassing, raise your button bro. Also, how can anyone else have hoped to win? Dude had God on his side!
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Selling 60% at face, minimum purchase is 10% = $1,030. Send to aejones on Stars and confirm via PM or in the comments section.

Tournament should be pretty tough, but I expect it to get 32 (or between 32 and 64, if Stars allows it to be an 'odd' number).
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I'm in Florida where everyone else is for this mega bajillion dollar tournament. I'm scared to leave the airport for fear of suffocation by way of humidity. I will await the wolfpack to show me around his neck of the woods (excellent pun there).

I just finished the GOAT flight: I was on an aisle seat in the middle of what appeared to be two rows of the same family, complete with little kids [1]. I was closing my eyes thinking about teleporting to somewhere else so that I didn't have to listen to the screaming, climbing 2 year old next to me, when I heard them talking about how they had some rogue seat in the back. I immediately offer to take the rogue seat in the back in exchange for this one (nicest guy EVER), which ends up being a window seat in an 3 seat row, where there's a woman on the end and no one in the middle-- the middle seat never shows and I'm the hero Air Tran deserves.

I'm probably a third through the first book of the Fire and Ice series, aaand I was going to give you a brief synopsis of my thoughts but they're not really important and the TV series is very true to the books, and now I have to leave the airport on short notice so bye.

[1] If I call them the Jeffersons, does that make me racist? Note: I have black friends.
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What do people think about when they're laying in bed? I'm usually a pretty good sleeper, I don't close my eyes until I'm tired and when I do I'm out before I have a chance to figure out the meaning of life. I sleep 8 hours straight with my phone on "do not disturb" (finding this setting was the second most important discovery in my life [1]). I wake up ready to smash the day.

Tonight for some reason I find myself thinking, "What's next?" The cool (although relatively unsettling, I guess) thing is that I don't know [2].

I'm probably going to start by leaving the country at some point in the not so distant future, but maybe travel around the States first [3]. I might come back to Vegas and watch Dave try to win the Main Event [4]. I might want to be around my family for the holidays. I might want to go to Europe. I might just stay in Vegas and try to do one armed pullups and eat cashews and play poker on the Ivey Poker App [5].

I've been indoor rock climbing a bit lately, which is an exciting new endeavor. I'm terrible but improving as quickly as you'd expect someone with my level of coordination and athletic ability. It's fun. Between this and basketball and swimming and racquet sports and hiking and... well, I can't understand why anyone would ever want to get their cardio from just running.

This blog and my writing style in general represent everything that I hate about life-- lack of substance. Not only have I effectively written nothing, but I've done it in a disorganized manner. I'm ashamed of myself, my lack of blogging, and the product I'm now putting out there after such a long layoff. I feel like dogishead [6].

[1] First was when I figured out that in a four door car you can roll down the same side backseat window in order to create a magical vent that sucks air in the frontseat window and out the backseat window, thereby thwarting the wind from smashing into your face and hair... #science.

[2] It's possible I'm alone in this, but I'd rather "interesting" things happened in life than "good" things. Not planning things more than a week or two in advance leads to more of the former, but also forces you to pay 2x what you should for your flights.

[3] The biggest tournament not named the Main Event is happening in Florida at some point. I probably won't go, but I might.

[4] Yea, that Raptor guy made the last table of the Main Event... so he's got that goin' for him, which is nice.

[5] The software isn't actually that bad (but man, Stars has spoiled us all) and I can play stakes as high as I was playing in 2008!

[6] You know, Haseeb, blogger of the year ! (...2011?)
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I am going to sell action to the following tournaments in packages:

Package A

16 NLH HU $10,000
19 PLH $5,000
32 NLH 6-max $5,000
41 PLO 6-max $5,000
57 NLH $5,000

I am definitely going to play the HU, and I will play 3 of 4 of the other tournaments. I would say I'm most likely to skip either #19 or #57. I will definitely play #32 and cannot conveniently leave it off the package since its my best event and play the others. Selling at 1.2 markup so $3000 gets you 10% and that's the minimum you can buy. If anyone buys all of it, I'll sell at 1.15. I will play the events even if I don't sell my intended target. PM me if you have payment questions but I would prefer cash at WSOP or a bank transfer of some sort. If you sweet talk me, I might take Stars.

Package B

52 NLH 6-max $25,000

Selling 60-75% to this at 1.1; if anyone buys all of it, I'll sell at 1.05. Same deal with payment. Min 10% = 2750.

Package C

47 NLH $111,111

Will play this only if I can sell 90% at face, so if you know anyone looking to make a large and swell investment let me know.

I've never won anything and I've never sold for WSOP so I feel like this is the time both of those things will coincide.

Also, if anyone can let me know who I have to PM or sleep with to be able to post in the 2+2 marketplace that would be sweet in case I don't snap sell out here.
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I am looking to speak with both a writer and a programmer about possible employment opportunities. I'm not really certain what I'm looking for in either just yet, but I want to ask some preliminary questions about how difficult certain tasks would be within each industry (as far as programming goes, I'm a novice but I'm looking for someone who has experience with databases and scraping information from various sources). Although there is no need for a proper resume, I'd like to know your background in the field, so please include it in the PM to me.

It's likely that any employment would start off on a project by project basis and this should not be looked at as a full time job opportunity just yet.
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A while back I wrote a few blog posts on the Poker Training Industry[1]. Most of you could probably feel the unrest in the tone of my voice. In a post Black Friday poker world, the status quo for Leggo (and similarly modeled poker training) wasnít practicalóbeyond that, it wasnít feasible.

Iíve owned Leggo for over three years now and been part of the project since day one over five years ago. Over this time there were some ups and downs, but Iím very confident in the quality we put out. I try hard to be objective, and I believe there were stretches when we were the best. Whenever I see someone give props to myself or Leggo on 2+2 or Twitter or Facebook, I'm thrilled they appreciate the content.

Iím often asked (or I was, back when I played a bit more poker) if Iím glad that I started to make training videos. The truth is that I have no idea if it was +EV for my poker career. Attempting to quantify such a thing would be feebleóIím sure revealing as much as I did hurt my winrate at times, Iím sure making poker videos has gained me some amount of moderate fame that I wouldn't have otherwise, Iím sure I stayed a bit sharper with the responsibility to explain the plays I was making. Iím also sure I had a lot of fun.

[2]What some of you may be able to tell from watching my videos is that Iím a natural. This may sound a little like bragging, this may even technically be bragging, but it is also fact: oftentimes I will be rambling at a thousand words a minute about a topic in a poker video, deep in a debate with myself about the merits of checking back the flop and how my opponent will react to various turn and river combinations, and Iíll also be asking myself Hmm... What do I want for dinner? [3] Iíd like to think my videos informed, incited, and entertained (not necessarily in that order), so I supposed the Utilitarian way to look at things would be that they were +EV for the poker community as a whole. Sounds like a win to me, and itís more fun when you win! [4]

Most of all I want to thank a bunch of people: Matt and Vitas [5], for working hard when everyone else was hardly working; everyone who I became friends with or enhanced my relationship through Leggo (Ashton, Chewy, Dan, Ben most notably); everyone who ever made a video, even those with very short stays who made revealing videos for much less than their hourly (Jimmie, Rich, Ashton, Ben[6]); especially those who turned in videos early and often and made my job so much easier; and of course, any coaches whose wife made me dinneróthe best way to get into my ďthank you paragraphĒ is through my stomach, of course.

If this sounds like the end of an era it might be, but itís the beginning of something better. I no longer own Leggo, I sold it to Phil Ivey. In the summer we will launch Ivey League[7], a training site that is more comprehensive than Leggo was ever able to be. I want to keep the same mission Leggo has always had at the core, but expand our ability to educate on Live Tournaments, PLO, and even Mixed Games. The additional resources Ivey Poker offers will make this all possible.

This probably sounds far fetched to all of you. After spending time with Phil recently, I can assure you that his level of excitement for this project is very high [8]. He sees an opportunity to make a comprehensive poker network with his name attached and he personally prioritized training [9]. What Iím trying to say is: today, a social poker game; tomorrow, the world!

Over the coming months I will keep a blog about the development of Ivey League. Itís imperative that we get as much input as possible from you, our members (current and future), about what you want from the site. To wrap things up, Iíll do a quick Q and A with myself about the future of Leggo and whatíll happen going forward. Congratulations for reading this far, you sir [10] are a gentlemen and a scholar.

Q: Is Phil Ivey really going to make poker training videos?
A: He already has.

Q: What happens now?
A: Leggo will exist until Ivey League is operational (a few months, best guess). We will begin to infuse some pros from Ivey League into our monthly lineup.

Q: Will Leggo pros continue to make videos for Ivey League?
A: Likely. Weíre hoping to move some of our most popular producers over to Ivey League, but itís likely the roster will get trimmed. Your voice will be heard on this one, speak up if there are producers you feel strongly about, especially low and mid stakes guys.

Q: What kind of training videos will we expect to see?
A: A wide variety. For now youíll mostly see hand history review, theory, math, and conversational videos (dual videos or interview style). I expect there will be a few kinks to iron out, but weíve got a lot of awesome options.

Q: Will you continue to make training videos?
A: Thanks for asking, Iím flattered. I will, but Iíd like to cut back my production a bit since Iíve been making 2+ a month for years (also since Iím playing less poker). I think I might be good in some dual videos interviewing players better than myself (although admittedly my interviewing skills are marginal at the moment, Iím sure I can get better).

Q: What will happen to our current Leggo subscriptions?
A: All Leggo subscription obligations will be filled appropriately (which may include even better value from Ivey League).

Q: Will Ivey League be $30 a month?
A: Definitely not. Weíll continue to take your input on our business model but ultimately you can expect to see tiered pricing and possibly even a la carte videos.

[1] Part 1, Part 2
[2] This paragraph is going to be incredibly masturbatory. Iíve become a lot more humble over the years (but I guess at various points there was no way to become less humble), but this is my good-bye to Leggo, let me have my fun, damnit.
[3] The answer is always Chipotle.
[4] Trademark: Ivey Poker.
[5] Those two names listed alphabetically, God forbid one of them think I was showing a little favoritism toward the other.
[6] That includes boywonder (bet you havenít heard that name in a while!), 86 (yes, there are so many Bens in poker weíve shortened this one to just 86, especially with a last name that is dicey to pronounce), and Sauce (who I am perhaps most thankful to, for being there until the end, for wanting to give back for the sake of giving backóIíd be shocked if a better poker mind exists).
[7] It took Chewy weeks to figure out the cleverness of this name. In other news, it may or may not be 500,000 miles from Las Vegas to Florida.
[8] As excited as Phil gets anyway. I think I saw him smirk, once.
[9] My theory is that he just wants to make a bunch of people good enough to play with himóbut he knows that no amount of training would make them good enough to beat him, of course.
[10] Or maíam.
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What most women don't know is that we (men) spend 93% of our time thinking about sex. Thankfully, I'm not here to talk about that 93% of the time. I'm here to talk about what we think of the second most, and that is what to do in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse (6%).

I've created a pie chart in case you're lost already.

Like most things in life, there is a lot of misinformation out there, so I thought I'd really educate the masses on the proper way to do things. I thought briefly about making a video out of this, but it's really important that I just get everything out to the public as soon as possible. We'll start by taking a look at some of the variables at play:

1. How do the zombies behave?

Most of the time there are clear rules about zombie behavior, but occasionally they'll just randomly do things that make no sense. For the most part, we can quantify a few things: zombies can't climb ladders or open doors, they like to eat human flesh, and if you shoot them in the head, they will "die." [1]

2. How does the disease spread?

Essentially we're looking at "if a zombie bites you, you will become a zombie." Again, we're dealing with a bit of variance here, so I'd highly recommend you don't drink from the same glass as a zombie, share needles, or double dip in communal guacamole. [2]

3. How many "people" have the disease?

At the point that we've decided the ZA [3] is here, the world will probably be FUBAR [4]. Quarantining the disease hasn't worked, there is no cure, and we haven't been able to ship all the sick people off to France [5]. Be VERY wary of who you deal with: the lines between human and zombie can be blurred at times and full survival mode will be in effect.

So, what do we do now?

Strength in numbers. The most important thing is to find weapons and a team of guys that you trust. You'll need analytical types, people who are good with computers, and guys who can handle a gun. Bonus points if you find guys who have multiple skills. Bonus points if they are familiar with agriculture [6]. Ideally, these bros are your bros and you go way back and have been bro'ing since high school or so. In a distrustful world, it'll be important to find people to trust.

Next, try to add some women to the group. You'll want to aim high: in the ZA, all of us can shoot a few points north. Women are all about status, and our status as "people who are not yet zombies" is incredibly appealing to them. The women will be good for the overall morale of the group, and, ultimately, to procreate. Who knows, you may even get lucky and find one that can shoot a zombie! [7] Balance is paramount here: too many women might drag you down, not enough women will create a distraction between jealous men.

Don't trust people outside of the group you've created. In the ZA, humans will need to stick together but resources will be scarce: there may or may not be enough power, food, and weapons. Our Darwinian instincts will take over and we'll be forced to battle other humans for the right to precious things (like twinkies).

Try to find a protected home base, preferably one that can take on some expansion (something like a church or some townhomes that are connected to more townhomes). Never sleep on the lower floors or in basements. Set booby traps in case a zombie gets past one set of doors. Have an escape route (something like a slide from a top floor to a vehicle on the street). Have backup plans. Never assume any given body is dead until you put a pitchfork through its skull. In the Zombie Apocalypse, there is no room for error.


[1] "Die" is in quotes because they are, technically, already "dead." I thought it'd be a little misleading to say "die again," and things like "super-die" or "die-for-good-this-time" just seemed verbose.

[2] This goes without saying but you probably want to just avoid having appetizers with zombies altogether.

[3] Zombie Apocalypse.

[4] Federal Understanding Boycotts Auxiliary Reparations. You don't know what FUBAR means? #cmonson

[5] You did know this was the CDC's first plan of action, right?

[6] Farming. I'm from Indiana.

[7] Or make a sandwich.
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I think the poker community sucks.. the majority of it, anyway. Everyone who plays live poker is an angle shooter... okay, not everyone, but you get the idea. Be careful who you deal with-- make sure everyone is vouched for or one person removed from your circle of poker friends. This was a completely unnecessary tangent, it has nothing to do with the rest of my blog post [1].

The people that are cool though, are really cool. They can also probably write better than me, because that was a brutal first sentence [2]. People who are actually good at poker are remarkably intelligent, objective, and good at (other) things. Successful poker players are often people who would have been successful in whatever they choose to do, they just happened to get lucky [3] to find poker. I was always smart in my own little world, my upbringing/schooling (lazy but talented) typifies [4] most successful poker players. I've spent about the last month grinding Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy! [5] What I've learned is that my mind has deteriorated more than I'd like to think it has-- I've forgotten state capitals, presidents, and a slew of US History/World Geography that I could have sworn I knew at one time. Oh well, it's still cool that other poker players are nearly as dorky as me.

Something else that's sweet about the poker community is that there's someone in every corner of the globe. If you want to travel somewhere, chances are there's someone on Leggo or 2+2 that lives there or has been there and can provide you with real life experience about the place. That is incredibly valuable and something that everyone should take advantage of. Next time someone says: "Stop by next time you're in Northern Europe!" ...you should just do it. [6]

Poker players, relatively speaking, have good taste. If you want to know what TV to watch [7] or obscure movie finds [8], chances are someone has a good recommendation. Definitely better recommendations than your high school friends, who almost certainly have terrible taste. The ability to be objective about media, food, books, vacation destinations, etc. is more prevalent in the poker community than outside of it, imo. I appreciate this, and I'd like to thank anyone that I've met through poker that has expanded my mind with a good recommendation.

Don't be afraid to actually use the poker community as a resource, we're all we've got.

[1] It definitely has at least a little bit to do with the rest of my blog post. I am using the first paragraph as a foil for the rest of the post.

[2] I've written worse.

[3] ...or unlucky.

[4] I'm almost positive this is a word. I'm slightly less confident that it's the proper usage.

[5] I got really unlucky, Jeopardy! is always written with an exclamation point, but here it looks like I'm much more excited about this turn of events than I really am.

[6] I've met so many tremendous hosts in the poker community.

[7] I'm so far behind on TV-- I'll be in the States next week to catch up on BE, SOA, Newsroom, Homeland... whatever else has started.

[8] There's a sweet thread in EDF on 2+2 about obscure movies. In fact, there are a LOT of great threads in EDF. Good signal to noise ratio.
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