Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Two More Final Tables


Last night I played in two tournaments, and made the final table in each one.


Why Meh, you ask? Well, let's just say that I know a lot better now how Smokkee felt after his WSOP Main Event qualifier bubble last week. My bubbly evening wasn't quite that bad. But I also didn't win a $3500 "consolation prize" at the end of my night like he did.

First, I logged on about 30 seconds before the Tuesday night WWdN tournament was set to begin. My starting table in the WWdN, a table I was destined to sit at for quite a while, had some longtime WWdN standbys:

including Jaxia, Mean Gene and Ingoal, as well as ShadowTwin, someone named GrrrrArghhhh whom I recognize from a few of the most recent WWdNs, and a player named Scaffidi who I definitely didn't recognize. I was most specifically focused on Jaxia, who has this way in these blogger tournaments of stealing the blinds (duh!), sticking around, slow playing a few monsters and then suddenly showing up at the final table packing heat. So I was determined not to let her do her thing as best as I could.

But Jaxia is a very good player. Jaxia let me steal and even re-steal her small blind twice in the first hour of the tournament. She didn't act too quickly, she didn't type anything into the chat about quitting stealing her blinds. She just folded both of those hands to my steals, laying the trap, and laying it in the way of the best poker players: quietly. Then, near the end of the first round, the game was afoot:

Here Jaxia raises 4x from the SB when it's folded around to her. Stealiest-lookin thing I've ever seen. So after already stealing her blinds twice already in the round, I reraised her again here with what I had to think was the best hand out there. When Jaxia moved in for her remaining 500 chips, I felt compelled to call due to the pot odds, but I knew what had been sprung on me right away. I recognized the move when it happened, because Jaxia played this exactly the way I do this to people all the time. And I loved every minute of it.

Thank you, Jaxia, for making me have to stop and think in a poker game. With all the numerous fish out there and me focusing almost exclusively on the MTTs that are overrun with these fish, that is not a very common feeling, and I wish I had more of it. Jaxia, I personally invite you to play in my weekly Mondays at the Hoy online homegame on pokerstars. That's exactly the kind of play I'm trying to encourage and solicit in my home game.

Other highlights that I saw in the WWdN:

-- StB, the guy who is ripping shit up all over the WPBT POY race, dropping the Hammer in a big, big way. Of course, the river card arrived and kept Ingoal alive for a little while longer, sending StB's chipstack down a few key notches in the process:

-- ShadowTwin, yes I was bluffing in that hand you asked me about:

Sorry man, but that's just how I roll. As Nino Brown would say, Nothing's just Business. And please tell me you all get that reference out there, from one of the great cinematic achievements of the early 1990s.

Anyways, I got almost no cards in this tournament, which resulted in me stealing and bluffing, bluffing and stealing my way along, bluffing on the flop for a couple of large pots to get me in position around the bottom of the final 12 or 13 players to make a run at lasting to the final table. I was able to double up once right near the bubble off of Bob Labah here, when I hoyed and got him allin on the flop with TPTK:

I lost just about every race I faced in both of my tournaments last night, and got bad beat several times as well. Here I was almost eliminated with 12 players remaining after my good read and good allin preflop call:

became this:

Blech. But then I was able to redouble, again against Bob Labah, with another allin with top pair Queens on the flop and I was once again out of the cellar with just a few players to go until the money spots. After an interminable bubble period, this hand finally ended it:

and I had made my fourth WWdN final table, going in in 7th out of 9 players. The final table included myself, Miami Don, Iakaris, Luck080, Grrrr Arghhhh, Puckett101, Bob Labah, MsJoanne and Scaffidi. I'd love to tell you what happened all through the final table, but on hand #2 I got allin with a fairly short stack with Big Slick, against this powerhouse, with Grrr Arghhhh calling my allin from last position with almost no money of his own in the pot at that time. So it was a pure fish move, one he had to know he was going to lose, but the guy just wanted some blogger street cred I guess and was willing to throw his tournament away to get it. Yes I had lost just about every race or every 2-to-1 shot throughout this tournament, but no way Grrr had any inkling he could possibly win this hand:

But when this happened, I can't say I was surprised:

So I was out in 9th, undeservedly so, but not unsurprisingly given what was some truly bad luck for me all throughout this event. Still, I'll take another WWdN final table, and I'll take the $17 profit for my 9th place finish.

But the really disappointing thing about last night was my performance in last night's Bracelet Race on full tilt. 242 players entered this event at 9pm ET, with the top 3 receiving WSOP seats for a $1500 buyin event, something which I will admit I desperately want to win and play in this year, though I can see the dream slipping away before my very eyes. Anyways, rather than bore you with tons of screen shots about how it happened, I'll just say this. With just 10 players left, the poker gods almost had me get sucked out on again, but instead I got the benefit of a good old-fashioned resuck on the river here to keep me from drilling a nail through my own eye and deep into my brain:

and I had made the final table in this event, entering the final 9 players in 7th place (just like the WWdN in fact):

With one player already eliminated, so 8 players left playing for 3 WSOP seats, I was dealt 88 in MP with a short stack, so of course when it was folded around to me, I pushed:

The fish in the BB called my allin bet, with a hand that he had to figure he was behind with:

and, consistent with the rest of my luck on either side of races last night, here was the board:

and IGH, again undeservedly, in 8th place out of 242 players:

On the good news front, this is my second major MTT final table in the month of June, keeping me on track for my 2 final tables per month that I have at least made in every month of 2006, and it's not even quite halfway through June yet, so I'm hoping I can continue to add to that total before the summer is really in swing here in New York. But obviously, bubling out in 8th place out of 242 people, when the top 3 get WSOP seats that I desperately want, and with a hand where I was the favorite going in and where it took a rather large fishcall to even have me in the race to begin with, is very hard to swallow. It hurts especially bad after I played this Bracelet Race for 3 hours and 20 minutes, having to fight extremely hard and play extremely cagey to even get to this point since I experienced the literal worst card death of my entire life to reach this point. I saw exactly 19 flops out of 341 hands seen. 19 out of 341. 5.57%. I can't even believe I didn't hurl myself from my second-story window to sit through 3 1/2 hours of fewer than 5.6% of flops. Of the 32 total hands that I won in this event, 20 of them were pure steals or bluffs preflop, and another 6 were won on the flop (4 with bluff bets by me), and I had only 6 showdowns, which I won all of until the final table screwage. So, I fought my way through one of the hardest fights I've ever undergone to make a final table in an event in which I saw 5.5% of flops over 3 1/2 hours, only to lose with 88 to a fish with KQ in the big blind who just couldn't get away from the 2000 chips he'd already sunk into the pot, even though I almost surely had at least an Ace if not a pair before he ever called my allin bet, and in the process I missed my $1500 WSOP seat by 5 spots as a result. And this final table appearance did not pay out anything to me as it was really the WSOP seats we were playing for, brining my total profit/loss for the evening of poker to around plus $8 and change.

Two final tables out of two events last night?



Blogger smokkee said...

damn..i just came over after i checked Full Tilt to see what happened after i saw you finished 8th. you had a decent stack when i got knocked out 51st. i figured you went deep. you might wanna try the $75 buy-in bracelet race. better odds there (29-1 vs. 83-1).

1:01 AM  
Blogger drewspop said...

wow, nice job man. I stunk the place up badly in that one. I want to give it another shot or 2 though. Tough way to end it, that is for sure.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Donnie (aka Shadowtwin) said...

Damn, I thought you were bluffing. I had a pair of tens on that hand, but I was figuring you for a medium ace. My luck is generally pretty bad in such races, had I called it, it would have turned you a pair and rivered you trips. That is the exact confidence I bring to the table every day!

I was watching you in the FTP tournament from the time it was down to about 70 or so players. I was rooting for you man! (but silently, didn't want to disturb your concentration after all.) I was thinking "8" with all my might, too bad it didn't help.

I was actually laughing pretty hard at the chat at one point though, when one of the guys pushed with (I think) trip 4's on the turn and the guy called it with A-7 and only a gutshot draw, which he managed to hit. It was funny because the guy was still talking about it fifteen minutes later, saying it was a good call; had an open-ended straight draw and an Ace high. It was pretty funny that he was wrong about it being open-ended, funnier still that he was trying to portray himself as a genius becasue of the call, and downright pathetic that he was talking about it like ten minutes after the other guy was eliminated. I bet he still talks about that time he scored three touchdowns in one game back in the Pop Warner league too.

1:34 AM  
Blogger StB said...

The busted hammer really ticked me off. As much as I wish your write up of me eliminating InGoal was correct, it did not happen. He won the hand with the bigger boat.

I was unceremoniously knocked from the leader board by that move.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Dam StB you're so right, I totally missed that as I reviewed my screen shots this morning. That's a rough way to lose with the Hammer, that's for sure. Riverstars has definitely been in very rare form of late, no doubt. I expect more of the same tonight in the Mookie tournament, sans Mookie of course.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Hey Hammer Player:

1. Thanks for being the strongest advocate of the Hammer. I woke up Monday morning, and for my Birthday, the only thing I wanted to do was drop the hammer. Wow, how things have changed. Anyway, I dropped and it was the second best birthday gift I got.

2. I'm trying to get a few of "us" together at Foxwoods for the World Poker classic in November. Drewspop and I are in, maybe you, Jordan and the waffle man will join? 2000 person donkey fest, $600 buy in. Hope to see you there. Last longer bet in the works.

3:54 AM  

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