Friday, June 02, 2006

FTP 17k Challenge Day Two, and The Mookie

So, my recently-announced 17k Challenge, where I plan to play the ftp 17k guaranteed tournament every night I can at 10pm ET until I final table the event, started off with a big bang on Tuesday, when I finished in 21st place out of 963 entrants, losing to a brutal pull on the turn card by a guy who probably should not have stayed in the pot given where we were in the tournament at that point, his chip stack and his pot odds (but everything else about his preflop and postflop calls was just fine!). Wednesday night approached, and as I registered for my weekly junk-kicing at the Mookie tournament, I immediately thought about the ftp 17k, and how convenient that it begins at the exact same time as the Mookie. So I preregistered for both, and I actually pulled a Phil Hellmuth and showed up about 10 minutes late for both events. I did not and generally don't bother reviewing the hand histories from the time that I missed. I just sat down in both events at around 10:10pm ET, and proceeded to quickly steal my way to a small chip gain in both tournaments.

I managed to double up early on in the 17k on Wednesday, when I used my favorite move with pocket pairs -- the slow-raise (as opposed to the slow-play which suggests checking your big cards) -- to add some deception and convince another donkey to move in on me with his inferior hand. I was dealt QQ in middle position -- yes, the very same fcuking biatches who ruined my run to a 21st place finish in this event -- and I proceeded to put in a larger-than-normal preflop raise of 8x, to adjust for the two limpers from EP and early MP that were already in ahead of me:

Just the early position limper called my preflop raise, and we see a raggy, paired flop:

Now this is where the deception comes in. I have every reason to believe I am ahead in this hand. My opponent did not at all play like he has AA or KK in the pocket -- almost everyone who plays online cannot resist re-reraising a large preflop raise with one of those two hands -- and since he called a big preflop raise I can't put him on a 6 or a 4. Odds are that he either has a middle pocket pair, or two high cards. Either way, I have to get this guy to believe that he is in the lead so I can get his chips. How do I accomplish this? Well, when he checked the flop to me, I paused briefly and then checked it right back. In this way I'm giving him some rope to bet out on the turn with his middle pair, which he should now believe is the best hand since I wasn't willing to bet the flop even after his check.

The turn card comes an 8♥, another nearly perfect card for me, as it's another rag that is likely to reinforce the idea I have sneaked into my opponent's head that his hand is now the best. My opponent now bets out 200 chips into a 900+ chip pot. Consistent with him holding a middle pair, AK, AQ or something like that. Now here is where the slow-raise comes in. Since I don't think he is on a draw, there isn't much of a reason for me to wait until the river to step up the bluff. So I slow-raise him, enough to get a good amount of chips in the pot, but yet subtly a small enough amount that there is a good chance of my opponent putting me on a bluff here:

and the move works to perfection:

Now, formulate your guess as to what you think this guy is holding. Of course I called, as much for the pot odds as anything else, and here it is:

And that's how I got my first double up on Day 2 of my FTP 17k Challenge.

I had a very similar hand near the end of Round 1 of the 17k, which started off with me being dealt AKs, for which I put in my standard 4.4x raise preflop, getting just the big blind to call to see this flop:

Just for some variety, I quick-checked after my opponent checked this flop, again designed to give him the subtle impression that he has the best hand with whatever he is holding that justified his preflop call (maybe a middle pair, two high cards, etc.). Then, when he checked it again to me on a turn card of the 2♠, I found that bet curious, and figured he might have something he is willing to call with. So I did my patented Slow-Bet™:

Which he also called, but slowly. I put him on a lower Ace, or maybe 2nd pair high kicker, but not the two pairs that would have been crushing to me. And more importantly, I had hopefully played this slow enough, while still adding chips to the pot along the way, that he might believe I held nothing, as opposed to the TPTK that I'd been hiding ever since the flop came out. So, the river came another rag, and my opponent thought briefly and then pushed allin. I called, and we flipped:

This was my second double up during round 1 of the 17k. Any time you can double up twice during the first round of the large MTTs, you're going to be in great shape, way ahead of average come the first break as long as you don't lose too many chips in other pots along the way, so I was in great shape to make another run in this event on just Day #2 of my 17k Challenge. I headed into the first break of the 17k a few minutes later in solid position:

All the while, the Mookie tournament was rolling along. We're about half an hour in, and I am up a little when this hand happens:

JoeMav across the way limps in weakly preflop, with my poker instincts telling me his weakness is no act. When the flop comes Jack-high including a pair, I figured the odds are low that he has hit this flop, so I'm betting the pot and taking this thing down here. Only problem was, JoeMav had other ideas. Almost immediately, he raised me 2x my original bet. The funny thing about this is, I see a ton of people online who will make more or less this exact same quick-raise when they think someone might be trying to put a move on them. They want to raise and raise quickly, giving the impression of having a strong hand, but then they only do a min-raise, twice the original bet, etc. And let me give all you people a piece of advice about bluff-raising:

You can't bluff-raise halfway. Either you bluff-raise me 3x or 4x the original bet -- in which case I would have quickfolded this hand for example -- or you don't bluff-raise at all. But quick-raising me 2x here, to a guy like me, that is like me smelling blood in the water, and I'm coming in for the feeding frenzy.

So, I did what my instincts told me to do here:

I bluff-re-reraised him, putting in the size raise that he should have done to me when he thought I was just muscling him. And, predictably, he folded quick:

I just love hands like that. I say this a lot on the blog, but there is just nothing like bluff-raising or bluff-reraising in an MTT. Making the right read and picking somebody off for some easy money is always a fun and rewarding poker experience.

Five hands later, I won a race (my only winning race of the tournament, in fact) to amass a decent stack in the Mookie, when my ATo prevailed at the river against my opponent's underpair:

Due to the river straight, that beat looks a lot worse than it actually was, which was really just a 51%-49% dog taking it down at the river. Not a suckout obviously, but again a hand where I could have easily been put out of contention. And speaking of suckouts, Dr. Pauly took one on the chin in a big way in his first ever Mookie tournament:

Apparently someone forgot to warn the esteemed doctor to bring his kevlar. Next time Pauly, next time. Anyways, break time arrives for the Mookie almost simultaneously with the 17k's 11pm ET break, and here I am, in good shape in the Mookie thanks to the few hands highlighted above:

Round 2 of the Mookie started off quickly for me, as I pick up JJ on the button in the second hand of the round. I put in a 5x raise after one late-position limper, who then proceeds to reraise allin after my move.

For the life of me I could not understand why VegasRico would do this with an actual premium hand, so once again I figured the most likely cards I was looking at were either a middle pocket pair or AK, but much more likely some kind of middle pair given his willingness to push here. Rico would later comment in the chat that he "was sure I didn't have sh*t" given my reckless nature (anybody know what he's talking about there?), but in this case, my relentless aggression had gotten the best of him again:

and I doubled up again, just like that.

Just to remind myself that I'm not the only blogger who is faced with horrible turns of events at the table, here is Drizz taking a pounding and being eliminated early in Round 2:

And take a look at resident tightbox Gary Cox, slapping the hoy down on another pussy 2x raiser preflop:

And then there's me, chipping up significantly again on another suckout despite a pair-over-pair domination situation:

Unfortunately, this is the last good luck I would have in the Mookie that night. 13 hands later, I raise it up big on a steal with A5o on the button, but it turns out Iak had AJo, and I was toast:

This was a hand that I'm not going to beat myself up over at all, nor am I going to complain about the setup of the cards. Put simply, if you play the aggressive style that I play, and you actively move at pots from steal position in good stealy situations as the blinds increase, then every now and then you're going to find yourself raising it up against someone who has a big hand. It's just a fact of life when you're constantly moving at pots without seeing yet what the last few people's reactions are to their pocket cards. So this is just what happens, and this hand hurt me badly, sitting with 13 players left in a record Mookie field of 48 players. Maybe 6 hands later, I hoyed Waffles preflop, and he raised me my last chip, flipping up this classic race situation, with me in the ever-so-slight lead:

But the flop quickly took care of that:

and IGH in 12th place out of 48 entrants:

And congratulations to Waffles for winning out in the end in this Week's Mookie, after a very interesting see-saw battle with GCox. Waffles was dealt pocket Aces at least four times and won almost every race I saw him participate in, but you can't fault him for that. Sometimes the luck is just in your favor, and it's up to you to take that luck and win the tournament with it, and Waffles did just that, so congrats my boy.

Meanwhile, it's good that all this action was happening in Round 2 of the Mookie, because back in the 17k tournament, I was basically card-dead during the entire round. I did make one big laydown with AQ, the best hand I saw during the entire round. I had raised it up 4x from MP with my AQo, but then saw a reraise and an allin call behind me:

After thinking it over, I laid the hand down. Good thing too:

Chalk that one up to the spidey senses as well, which were firing on all cylinders once again last night.

Unfortunately, other than the big laydown, that was literally my only highlight to show from Round 2 of the 17k. Nonetheless, I stole and bluffed with abandon, managing to chip up enough to enter the second break with over 11,000 in chips, putting me in good position for another run at the money spots for the second straight day in my 17k Challenge:

The card death continued for me in Round 3, as I did not receive one playable starting hand in the first 20 minutes of the round. Finally I find AKo, and in the small blind no less, so I'm in good position to trick some donks into getting all their chips in against me, which I once again do to a tee. Problem was, then the cards screwed me again, in a hand that would have landed me in the top 20 with under 100 players remaining in the tournament:

Instead, I was around the middle of the pack, and the cash spots were about to hit. I limped along for a bit, still not getting any cards whatsoever, and right around the middle of Round 3, I made the cash in this event:

Unfortunately, my exuberance over my second consecutive 17k cash proved to be short lived. Not having gotten any hands to play in over 75 minutes in this tournament, I was forced to push from the SB when it was folded around to me, despite my holding a very inferior hand. Unfortunately, the BB had a very playable hand to call:

I did not improve, and IGH in 79th place:

So that makes two cashes in two days in the full tilt 17k since declaring my 17k Challenge, something which I still think bodes very well for my chances of final tabling this thing sooner rather than later. And I actually am as optimistic about my finish yesterday as I am about the higher Tuesday finish, because yesterday on my run to 79th out of 933 players, I didn't get a single good hand dealt to me for the last hour and a half of the tournament, and I still managed to coast easily into the money and my $45 payout. My $100 cash from Tuesday, plus yesterday's $45, will allow me to buy in to this event seven times now without impacting my bankroll, and that's not even taking into account the $8 pamela anderson sex sngs that ftp has available to win my way into these $26 buyin events with as little as $6 or $8 up front.

In any event, I plan to be on this evening, multi-tabling as always. I'll be defending my back-to-back titles at the WWdN Not tournament tonight, and if all goes well, I'll have already doubled up at least once in the ftp 17k tournament as well by the time the Not goes off at 10:30pm ET. Hopefully I'll see you there.


Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Good stuff as always, but I am shocked and profoundly disappointed you did not recognize who it was who called that Hoy with AJ vs. A5. You'd think the name under the cards would help!

How quickly 10k goes to some people's head. ;]

Iak (ie. not Guin).

11:07 AM  

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