Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I Want YOU!!

I want YOU to join my NFL Pick'em league on Yahoo!

How many of you out there are football fans? And I'm talking NFL football. Not Maurice-Clarrett-having college football. I mean real man's football.

If you're a big NFL fan like me, you've probably played around in fantasy football leagues before, which is something that I do every year for sure. But what you might not have played before is NFL Pick'em, a really fun game that my friends and I have been playing for several years now (to limited success I have to say). And this year for my Pickem league, I want to get as many of you poker playing degenerates to join my NFL Pickem league as are interested. Because when I win it all this year, I want it to really mean something. But first let me tell you what Pick'em is.

NFL Pickem is a game where you will pick the winner of each NFL football game during the regular season this year (straight up, regardless of any Vegas spreads). Picks are due 5 minutes before each game's scheduled starting time, and you will enter your picks and view everything all online, on Yahoo!. Pickem is free to join, although I would be more than interested in making it a little interesting and have everyone put up a few bucks to go to the eventual winner or top few places, which we can all just manage via transfers at our favorite poker sites I'm sure.

Anyways, the twist about Yahoo! Pickem is that not only do you pick each game's winner each week, but you also assign a confidence rating to each game, according to how confident you are in that team winning that particular game. In this way you rank each game of the week on a confidence rating scale of 1 through 16 (or 1 through 14 in the bye weeks). So, for example, if the best team in the NFL (my Eagles) is playing the worst team in the NFL (Redskins or Cowboys, take your pick), then you would pick the Eagles to win the game straight-up, and since the Eagles are so dominatory and the Skins and 'Boys are so awful, you would give the Eagles your 16 confidence rating for that week (assuming 16 NFL games in a given weekend, you will rank the games 1 through 16 depending on your level of confidence on each game). Then, after the games are played, for each game for which you correctly picked the winner, you will get the number of points that you assigned as your confidence rating for that game. So, if you get your 16, 15 and 14 games correct, but get all the other games you ranked 1-13 wrong one week, you will get 45 (16+15+14) points for the week. And if you get your 16 game right, but games ranked 5-15 all wrong, but then also get games rated 1-4 by you correct, then your total score for the week would be the 16+1+2+3+4, or 26 points for the week.

And that's it. The important thing is just to make sure that you make your picks for each week, which you can enter at any point during the season. So, even if you're going on vacation for a week or two during the NFL season, you can make your picks for those weeks shortly before you leave. And, as an accomodation to you slacky bozos out there who still manage to forget to do the picks one week every season, I set the league up so that the final scoring will drop your lowest-scoring week. So if you got a 0 one week because you failed to make your picks in time, or even if you remembered every week but just had one really awful, abberational week for you, it won't count against you in the final official standings.

So that's NFL Pickem. I already have around 10 people in the league thus far, and I'm going to post the entry information here for anyone else who reads this and wants to participate. As I said, signing up is free, but we can discuss ways and amounts to make this a little more interesting if everyone is down. I figure a group of degenerate gamblers and prop-bettors ought to be willing to plunk down a WWdN buyin or so on an NFL picks contest, dontcha think?

Here's how you sign up:

You have been invited to join Hoyazo's Private Group in Yahoo! Sports Pro Football Pick'em, called the "Baker League".

In order to join the group, just go to Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'em, click the "Sign Up" button (or "Create or Join Group" if you are a returning user). From there, follow the path to join an existing private group and when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 9684
Password: hammer

Yahoo! will send you a confirmation with further details once you have completed the registration process.

Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'em

Let me know here if you plan to join and whether you'd be willing to put in a buyin for a prize pool to be paid to the top finishers at season's end.

Getting pack to poker for a bit here, I apologize but my middle pairs post is going to have to wait one more day. Instead, have you been keeping up with the WSOP over on Pauly's site? They are now down to the final 9 players at the final table as Tuesday came to a close. For those of you who have not been following, Rizen is out, going out yesterday somewhere in the 20s along with the rest of the big-name internet players. Everyone starting somewhere in the 20s or so has been making at least a hundy large or so, and at this point it's more like 4 or 5 hundy large, so don't feel too bad about any of these guys going out at this point in the game. Allen Cunningham remains in the hunt, sitting in second place in chips with around 13 million, while the chip leader remains Hollywood producer Jamie Gold who still has over 24 million chips for a huge lead.

You have got to like Cunningham's chances here. He has a large chip stack, with a bunch of non-professionals left in the field, who I imagine have exactly zero WSOP bracelets between them. What a thrill it would be to me to see a name professional take down the biggest poker tournament ever played, and the $12 million biggest-ever first prize.

What else is up in the blogging world these days? I missed the WWdN last night as I was eating dinner with my family. I got on just in time to see Aquaverse busting out to another huge WWdN lead, only to then see him fritter it away in the span of basically three hands. Out in 12th in the end I believe, Aqua put up a very impressive run for back to back weeks now, and I look forward to busting him personally out of this tournament over the next couple of weeks. I didn't quite see the eventual winner last night, but I do know that Matt and Jules both also made solid cashes in the event, so congratulations to both of them as well. Anyone else getting tired of congratulating Jules on beating us in the blogger tournaments?

Oh yeah, I really wanted to get back to that hand I posted about the other day, where I had AKs on the button, called a standard preflop raise with three other players, and saw a flop of AJT, giving me top pair and an inside straight draw. And I apologize in advance for having gotten a few of the details and exact bet and stack sizes wrong in my previous description, though I don't think there were any material changes. Here's the setup:



As you can see, Player 1 bet around half the pot on this flop, player 2 called this half-pot bet, and then Player 3 moved in for about 3x the existing bet all ahead of me. Calling that allin would use up around half of my stack, would be about 1/4 of the first bettor's stack, and would get the second bettor basically allin as well. I asked my readers what the right move here was, and got as usual some very well thought-out comments. I want to post my own thoughts here, and then I'll include the screen shot to show what actually happened in this hand.

First off, the facts. That is not a good flop for me. I think it was Shadowtwin who posted in the comments that he would move in in this situation to try to isolate with the short stack allin. I understand fully his reasoning, and frankly to the extent that I'm willing to call here, I do support his suggestion of just allin reraising to try to isolate on the short stack who might not be calling with anything superb due to his chip position. But in the end I wasn't ready to just jump in here for all my chips, and here's why:

Yes I have top pair top kicker. But, given that three other players all raised or called the raise preflop, they're telling me already that they have something. Sure, one of them might just have a low pocket pair, and/or one of them might have suited connectors and think they're getting the right price with 5 players into a small-raised pot preflop. Fine, any one of those things could easily be the case. But, with three other callers of a standard-sized preflop raise, the bottom line is that it is very reasonable to expect that at least one of these players has two high cards. Most likely holdings for this would be AT, AJ, AQ, AK, or maybe even KQ. Other realistically possible hands for these opponents heading into the flop would be pocket pairs Tens through Aces. Hence why I just limped preflop, but also hence why I am concerned with this flop on the board.

When I think about the hands I think I was ahead of preflop (i.e., any hand I mentioned above, except for the pocket pairs), many of those hands just went from being behind me to now being ahead of me (in most cases, well ahead) after this flop, even despite my TPTK. TT and JJ have made trips, as has AA. AJ now has 2 pairs. TJ even has two pairs now. AT is also sitting on two pairs and drawing to a boat that I'm highly unlikely to catch. Even KQ now has a straight on the flop. So while there are still some hands I can beat, I'm not liking this flop.

Add to the mix then that the first player bets out half the pot on this scary flop. Not a good sign for me, as he could easily have one of these hands that are now ahead of me. Then the second player calls the half-pot bet. What would he realistically be calling that bet with, with 2 players left to act who had already called a preflop raise and saw a flop with all high cards? That one is really not good for my hand. Then of course comes the allin from the third player on this flop. Now come on here. I figure it is not likely that all three of them have my TPTK beaten at this point. But it seems very, very unlikely to me that all three of them are behind my TPTK. Who is betting out from first position, or smooth calling an EP raise, or then reraising allin after a bet and a call on this flop as it is, and still with me left to act behind them, unless they have the nuts or close to it? I thought this one over for quite some time, and I decided to fold it. TPTK is a solid hand to flop in nlh, but any of our esteemed cash players will confirm that putting it all in on a scary flop with just TPTK, especially when not one not two but three players have already bet, raised or called preflop ahead of me, is definitely a losing move overall.

And in case you want to know what the other players actually had on this hand, here comes the screenshot:














Yes we've got an idiot with the big stack in early position, and a very lucky flop hit for the short stack near the end, who made a questionable but makeable call with KQ preflop and got rewarded bigtime. And this is why you fold the TPTK facing all that action ahead of you and on a particularly scary flop to boot.

11 Comments:

Blogger KGBlovesOreos said...

Hey, this is KGBlovesOreos (http://kgblovesoreos.blogspot.com/). I'd be willing to put down a WWdn buy-in, but since I have never played in that event, I'm assuming that it's under $20. If I'm right, I don't mind, but if it's more, just let me know. I'll still probably play, but if we're talking a hundred bucks, I'm not so sure, lol.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

No KGB, the WWdN is a $10 buyin. I was thinking something like $10 or maybe $20 if people are interested. We can agree on a prize pool for it once we know how much interest there is.

So go and sign up now and we can figure out the buyin details lata.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I've already signed up for your Pick 'em League.

Unlike some other people, I won't brag about how I'll win. ;)

11:49 PM  
Blogger Donnie (aka Shadowtwin) said...

Well, if they were to trade each other one card, I would have been right on with my read of Q-Q and K-J...

Seeing the actual screenshot though, I need to amend my previous comment. I said you shouldn't have called it preflop, but seeing that you are actually in the big blind, you only had to fork over an extra 50 or 75 chips to see it, so yeah, you had to. Also, the fold is easy when seeing the actual situation. I thought that you were the largest of the four stacks, and my suggestion that you push was really about isolating the short stack and not letting him steal the pot right there. Seeing that two of the other guys actually had you covered though makes it pretty likely that it was going to get a call anyway. And since you are in the blind, a push likely wouldn't have been respected anyway.


Also, I signed up for your happy little football thing (I think. Either that or I joined someone else's league.), it should be fun, I haven't done any fantasty sports in a decade or two. Keep us posted on the consenus regarding the prize pool.

12:47 AM  
Blogger lumpy said...

I'm in on the NFL Pick'em.

$20 sounds good, I'd be willing to go more if there is interest.

1:28 AM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

In on the Pick'em too, I think I'll enjoy this more than picking players for fantasy football. Always get to the playoffs, then all my guys sit-out because their teams have made the playoffs IRL.. boo.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Donnie, you are correct that I had originally stated that I was the largest stack. When I went and dug up the actual screenshot this morning, I found that I had been a little off in a few of the details. Point taken.

And yeah, I think there is a good point to be made about me possibly reraising preflop with the AK. But with a raiser and 3 callers, I just don't like to commit too many chips until I know if there is an Ace or a King on the flop.

Thanks as always for the comments man. And glad you're in the Pickem league, it should be a lot of fun.

2:52 AM  
Blogger chipper said...

Just signed up on your Pick'em League. Sounds like a blast. Our office used to do something almost identical.
Chipper

3:31 AM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

Thanks for making it out to the Mookie last night. Tough hand at the end though. Congrats on the final table, if we woulda had one more player you would have cashed.

1:51 AM  
Blogger drewspop said...

Sounds good Hoy. Haven't seen you on girly chat lately. Hope all is well. I will try and remember to sign up at home tonight. The Man blocks Yahoo at work doncha know.

2:03 AM  
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11:00 PM  

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