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Mini-Blog: Heads Up Versus Boris Becker – Help Me Learn HU Hypers

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  1. #1

    Default Mini-Blog: Heads Up Versus Boris Becker – Help Me Learn HU Hypers

    Been a while since this part of the site had some discussion going on, so figured I’d try and start some. At the weekend, I won this competition on Party:
    https://www.partypoker.com/whats-goi...t-the-ace.html

    Which means I get to play Boris Becker heads-up for $25k. Pretty intimidating to say the least.

    The package includes flights and accommodation in mid-Feb to Rovzadov, Czech Republic and I’ll probably make a weekend of it with a couple of others. The night itself will have a charity theme, with Boris inviting friends and family to play a bounty SNG to start with (which I also have a seat for), followed by the HU battle.

    The first problem I have is that I’m terrible at HU. The structure will be hyper turbo and I’ve just a few weeks to form a basic strategy, made more problematic because this is the period at work where I need to work a lot of evenings and weekends.

    The second problem is just how intimidating this is going to be. Like most men though, a few drinks will probably sort out that problem.

    I’ll be updating this sporadically with some hand histories and a trip report after the event. In the meantime, if anybody can provide me with a decent HU hyper strategy ITT or point me towards good resources where I can improve quickly and efficiently, I’ll be eternally grateful. Boris/tennis puns also welcomed, as well as tips from anybody that’s played on tv or under a lot of pressure.

    New balls please.
  2. #2
    100% he'll suck so just concentrate on some really basic strat. Learn push/fold charts for whatever the structure is you're playing. If the game starts off deep enough just treat it like cash and you'll absolutely crush him.

    If the money in any way bothers you just sell some action, also a nice way to guarantee some $$$. The only edges he'll have on you are live play & not having to care about the money.
  3. #3
    griffey24's Avatar
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    Does boris becker have any poker skill? Or is this the same diff as playing some random actor Brad Pitt or something HU?

    I gotta assume anyone on FTR has more poker knowledge than he does. So I suppose it should really only be intimidating from the piont of view of the money on the line (whcih is pretty sweet by the way!)

    I like ImSavy's proposal to sell action.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay-Z
    I'm a couple hands down and I'm tryin' to get back
    I gave the other grip, I lost a flip for five stacks
  4. #4
    Thanks guys. Boris was sponsored by Stars for a number of years, which I think he gave up to coach Novak Djokovic. I've seen him play a few EPTs at least, so I don't think he'll be too bad. He'll definitely have a huge advantage playing under pressure. That's the part I'll find intimidating, but hopefully I'll manage to get some practice in before the event.

    I'm pretty relaxed about the money thing as I've got nothing on the line. Yeah, it would be great to win $25k and use it for investments, but I'm realistic enough to know I've only a 10%-15% chance to win all three. If I win $5k or $10k then I'll likely treat myself and a few others and invest the rest. I'm sure when it comes to it though, I'll be thinking twice before open jamming a wide range or making a marginal call/bluff when there's $5k on the line! I don't think I'll sell any action either, but partly because I've no idea how that would work for this kind of event?

    I've had the structure for the three matches come through. 20k starting stack with blinds at 100/200 and 25 ante, but just 5 minute levels. Level 10 will be 1k/2k with 200 ante. Any ideas how that might equate to an online HU SNG? Somewhere between turbo and hyper?

    PS: if anybody reading this wants to play some HU SNGs, let me know and I'll look into setting up a Stars home game.
  5. #5
    Social media interview is done and just waiting for it to be published. I think the event will be live streamed on Twitch too.

    Work has been really busy and I'm running out of time for study and practice. Hopefully get some in this week. I now have some push/fold charts and will look to drill those into my head before next weekend.

    I'll need to veer from the recommended call ranges though as I don't think Boris will be pushing anywhere near as loose as the equilibrium range. Does anybody have any rough rules of thumb for calling e.g. if I think he's pushing 20%, I should call 12%, if he's pushing 30%, I should call 20%, etc?
  6. #6
    http://www.partypoker.com/blog/boris...in-heaven.html

    Nerves are starting to build...

    Party has changed the structure for the three matches against Boris. Each level is now two hands, with the average stack down to 10bb after 12 hands. Going to be a short contest and effectively a coin flip, but I really can't complain. Even if I lose all three, I'll still have a free trip and a night to remember out of it.

    Now trying to get in as many hypers as possible.
  7. #7
    Interview is now up on the Party blog:
    http://www.partypoker.com/blog/party...d-forsyth.html

    Surprised that they've quoted me verbatim, rather than adding some poetic licence like the Stars writer did for the piece last year (my second poker claim to fame is the being the first winner of a Stars mtt using a mobile device).

    Otherwise, I played a bunch of hypers last night at a win rate of 55%. They're a lot of fun and there's definitely edge to be had, but really tough to know if you're a winner at these games after the rake given the variance in starting hands and the variance once you get the money in.
  8. #8
    http://www.holdemresources.net/h/web...s/nashicm.html

    If you didn't already know about it, not sure if the web calculator lets you play around with calling ranges to see how this changes how much we shove and vice versa. There may be much better available online these days I'm really out of the loop/was never in it.

    Your interview is one of the most down to earth no bullshit type things I've read from a poker player in an article like that lol. Should have chatted complete nonsense.
    Last edited by Savy; 02-15-2017 at 04:51 PM.
  9. #9
    Boris just entered the building. Elky also here, plus Trickett, Patrick Leonard and a bunch of German celebs on the list. Live on party twitch, me versus Boris 8pm ish GMT.
  10. #10
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    https://www.twitch.tv/partypokertv
    bean starts in about 5 minutes
  11. #11
    Let himself get a little low on chips there being a bit too passive.

    Commentators don't seem to know what they're on about. When he shoved and they could only see he had a 3 "he must have a high card here" no he had 1bb he has to do that with everything.
  12. #12
    I'll be interested to know if you ever were tempted to bluff any of those hands when you were like 5bb deep with absolutely nothing. Commentators kept thinking you were going to I can't imagine it crossed your mind once.

    Congrats on the win. Boris was so salty.
    Last edited by Savy; 02-18-2017 at 07:09 PM.
  13. #13
    Pretty happy with the result. Really liked Boris and the match was the most fun I've had in ages. I made a lot of live mistakes of course that I wouldn't make online e.g. That 3bet short with T3s :-0. But so be it. Full trip report to folllow.
  14. #14
    Trip Report (tl;dr)

    Well, here it is. Had a great weekend overall and some memories to last me a lifetime. Winning 2-1 in the HU match and taking home $10k tax free also feels pretty good! Maybe I’ll spend $1.5k on a watch as a memento.

    The weekend kicked off with a mid-afternoon flight out to Prague on Friday. Party had given me $1k for expenses, as well as pre-booking my room and transfers to Rozvadov, so four of us managed to have a weekend away for practically nothing. I’d been to Prague recently for a stag-do, but it was nice to see a different side to the city this time around. The city itself is beautiful and the quality of beer top drawer as well. We ended up having something to eat in a couple of old breweries/beer halls: U Flecku and U Medvidku. Both highly recommended.

    On Saturday, we got up early and took a walk around Prague castle before being collected and taken to King’s Casino, Rozvadov. Rozvadov is a tiny, quiet place on the Czech/German border, which is dominated by the casino and a few titty bars/massage parlours. Consequently, there’s kind of a weird, random feel about the place that doesn’t quite make sense. The hotel accommodation is also a bit strange. My room was about half a mile up the hill and it seems the paint has barely dried, plus they seem to have forgotten to put in a lift. The casino itself is dominated by poker though and it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer amount of tables and the amount of games running. Full marks to the owner Leon too for providing a free buffet to all, as well as making all alcoholic drinks dirt cheap. Not that the latter mattered, once we realised my Party patch was the golden ticket for a free bar!

    The poker evening kicked off with a charity shootout. I managed to get heads up with an older, aggressive player with a 5:3 disadvantage. He was a great guy and also a better HU player than me. He quickly had me (correctly) pegged as a bit too passive at HU, but I did at least pick up on that and let him hang himself in one hand by checking back top pair and leaving him to barrel off turn and river bluffs. We then exchanged a bunch of small pots for quite a while before both getting down to about 8 bigs. I open jam Q4s and he called with KTo and held. The guy was so pleased to win though and I wasn’t surprised to see him battling at the high stakes cash game later on. On the next table, Sam Trickett ran over the competition in no time.

    Once the charity SNG wrapped up, I was introduced to Boris and we kicked off the three matches. I really enjoyed playing with Boris and he’s a nice guy. He probably found me a little bit annoying (I get overly chatty and confident after 8+ pints), but he was engaging enough and it was a lot of fun being stared down by him. It was also kind of him to sign my winning hand from the third match (J9hh) and tweet about having a great time playing against me.

    The match itself highlighted some weaknesses in my game. I’ve barely played any HU and should have been more aggressive in a few spots post-flop as Savy mentions, particularly as I had Boris tagged as slightly loose passive (if not weak tight). The structure would have made it fairly tricky to not get committed to pots, but I could have picked a few good spots that I whimped out of. I think being televised and commentated on definitely made me think twice before taking a suspect (but +EV) line that I wouldn’t think twice about online.

    Some spots were also pretty shitty as well when down to 5-10bb. If I didn’t rip it in pre when Boris limped, I was completely whiffing on boards that Boris would have caught a piece of often and wouldn’t fold, so I don’t think there was much chance of making a move. I also made a few big stack size errors when playing due to being a live novice and probably being a little bit nervous/excited/half-cut when playing. I haven’t been able to watch the stream replay yet as it doesn’t seem to work for me, but maybe I won’t anyway due to the cringe factor of watching myself (and let alone before I make some donk moves!).

    After the match, Sam Trickett presented Boris with the €15k cheque for his children’s charity and apparently said “well done” or similar to me as I left the table . I struggle with my hearing so didn’t catch him saying it, but that was nice of him. I’ll be honest and say I assumed he was a bit arrogant before I saw him on Saturday, but he really conducts himself well and seemed like a good guy with quick wit away from the table. The four of us then watched a bit of the high roller cash game and retired to bed.

    We get up mid-morning Sunday and return to the casino for breakfast. Trickett, Leon, Rob Yong and a few others are still in the bar drinking and wearing the clothes from the night before, so they clearly had a good night. We then head back to Prague and kill a few hours before flying home. Overall, a great weekend and big thanks to the staff at Party for being friendly, organising a fantastic charity night and making me feel like a celebrity for the weekend. Their official evening report is here, along with a picture of me looking moderately drunk:
    http://www.partypoker.com/blog/boris...ur-kinder.html
    Last edited by The Bean Counter; 02-20-2017 at 05:35 PM.
  15. #15
  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    It was HU4ROLLZ. Peculiar story if he does genuinely own property that can cover his debts. Hopefully won't impact his ability to commentate for the BBC during Wimbledon - always liked his commentary and he seemed like a nice guy when I met him.
  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by The Bean Counter View Post
    It was HU4ROLLZ. Peculiar story if he does genuinely own property that can cover his debts. Hopefully won't impact his ability to commentate for the BBC during Wimbledon - always liked his commentary and he seemed like a nice guy when I met him.
    I can't see it, these things get called off very quickly when it impacts a persons ability to make money which I assume he does during Wimbledon. The story sounded a bit false to be too but based on the decision it sounds more so as if he's full of shit than the other party. Having to wait till bankruptcy was on you until you when you have a house that could pay it off (or a large bit of it), nah.
  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    I can't see it, these things get called off very quickly when it impacts a persons ability to make money which I assume he does during Wimbledon. The story sounded a bit false to be too but based on the decision it sounds more so as if he's full of shit than the other party. Having to wait till bankruptcy was on you until you when you have a house that could pay it off (or a large bit of it), nah.
    Agree. I would think he could also transfer the asset to the creditor too, or at least let them place a legal charge on it. Same goes for his house in Wimbledon. Maybe property law prevents that, or the creditor wouldn't entertain it. Not my area of expertise unfortunately.

    I did half think that maybe this story on HSDB this week wasn't so coincidental though:
    https://www.highstakesdb.com/7946-bu...er-losses.aspx
  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by The Bean Counter View Post
    Agree. I would think he could also transfer the asset to the creditor too, or at least let them place a legal charge on it. Same goes for his house in Wimbledon. Maybe property law prevents that, or the creditor wouldn't entertain it. Not my area of expertise unfortunately.

    I did half think that maybe this story on HSDB this week wasn't so coincidental though:
    https://www.highstakesdb.com/7946-bu...er-losses.aspx
    This reminds me, mostly because I don't know shit about this stuff and you maybe do a bit, all these Spanish tax fraud cases against people recently, are those people at fault* or is this just companies being like woo pay less tax, well LEGAL maybe not? I in no way blame a sportsman for this type of shit because it's just someone saying to you you can pay a or b and A<b what do you want to do? This may be wrong but you're more in the business and would be able to correct. In terms of multimillion pound contracts I struggle to see how this isn't true.

    *I mean your taxes are your own issue but you get what I mean.

    edit - I don't buy the story on that article, I imagine a lot of famous people play decent stakes lose a lot of money and then want it cancelling out. Am I wrong in thinking that this wasn't the rule until recently? It's only since things became more taxable you could do this?
  20. #20
    Tax is niche and not something I know much about. I do find it ludicrous though when the UK media give anybody a hard time for trying to limit their tax burden.

    I'd be pissed if I was rich enough to pay a lot of money for professional financial advisors too, only for me to then be liable for the penalty. I believe all advisors accept no liability for essentially a fundamental failing in their own work, which isn't good enough.
  21. #21
    I gotta assume anyone on FTR has more poker knowledge than he does.

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