Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The $20,000 Donkey

OK guys this is it. The post you've all been waiting for. Hope you're reading, xkm. Nijle, I hope you're out there. Because last night, I played like true donkey and busted out of the 20k early and often. Part of me didn't even want to post this this morning, out of sheer embarrassment, but you know what? I committed to covering my 20k bustout hands for a bit, and what am I going to do, only post my "noble" eliminations but not my lameass ones? I'm not trying to be dishonest here, and I'm not writing this blog to toot my own horn that much. I'm trying to give a true-to-life window into my daily comings and goings at the game of poker, and last night really did happen. So here goes:

We are once again in the first half hour of the 20k. I am just about even, not having received any good hands yet and only having been able to play one or two hands out of the blinds for cheap, and then folding after the flop did not hit my weak starting hand. Then I look down to find pocket 3's. UTG folds, but the next player limps for the 30 chip big blind. I choose to do the same, with a stack of just over 1500. There is one more MP limper, but then the button kicks it up more than 6x to 195. Before I know it, here's the situation facing me:

I think I should have folded here. As I look at it now, odds were decent already that I was up against a hand that had me dominated with a higher pair. With a hand as lousy as pocket 3's and little chance of avoiding seeing a flop at this point, I should have laid it down here and saved my chips for a better situation where there was less strength already being showed before the flop even came out. Instead, though, I allowed myself to be blinded by the whole Implied Odds thing. I reasoned, if I hit my trips, I should be able to take down a big pot here with a little luck. And hey, it's only 165 more chips, right? Bad move.

The flop comes J74 with two suited cards. There is 675 in the pot, and three players including myself in middle position of the three. UTG checks, and this is where I utterly, uberly screwed up:

I still can't believe I did this. And I can't explain it, other than to say that I like to act when my opponents show weakness, and I thought I might take it down here with a pot-sized bet. Of course, in retrospect I had put one of these guys on a strong hand already preflop, so then for me to bet at this raggy flop with just an underpair to the board, I mean, what a wasteful, silly, stoopid play. And I got what I deserved:

In a strange, sick way, it felt kinda good laying this hand down here. I mean, I threw up in my mouth again, but after that it felt good. I need to be kept in line and reminded that I'm not just a chip-eating machine on the virtual felt. Ever since I've learned to play aggressive holdem, I am constantly struggling not to be donkey-aggro, but rather just regular aggro. Well, this wasn't it, and I got told by a guy I'm sure had a higher pocket pair than I. I knew AK was a possibility, but I had to lay it down there and not compound my donkery by monkey-calling his pocket 9's or 10's and getting eliminated right there.

As I sat there after the above hand, thinking through how I was ever going to be able to spin this on the blog here today without looking like a complete donkass, I found AKo and got a guy to push allin with his short stack for about a third of my remaining chips with ATo. Unfortunately, a Ten came on the river, and I was down to just over 400 chips remaining. And it was gettin pretty steamy over at the Hammer Household. As I sat there, fighting against tilt but never really believing I could come back after that suckout when I really needed the chips, I was dealt T9s in the SB, and figured I'd make my move with some high suited connectors, in a situation where I knew I would find two callers so I knew I could triple up with a hand that was unlikely to be dominated:

Yes, I know, this was also a dumb play, going up against a 4.5x preflop raiser from early position with the UTG player having already limped, and a guy who had already called this 180-chip raise. Dumb play, no doubt. But don't forget, I was hoyadonk yesterday, and this is how hoyadonk plays the game. Well, I got what I deserved once again:

up against pocket Kings, dominated after all. And IGH, too early to even pay attention to the number.

I can't even count the ways that I went wrong here. Obviously, the push on the checked flop when I had already put my opponent on a strong hand preflop was moronic. I always focus on going with my reads, and in this case, that was my read but yet I ignored it. It's like I was blinded in the desperate chase for chips, and I thought maybe I could steal 675 of them because a guy I already thought was strong, took a move that clearly portrayed weakness. It was a total amateur move to fall for on my part after he had raised it up more than 6x preflop despite several early limpers. And just as much, even though I was very short, with blinds at 20-40 I still had plenty of time to wait for a better hand to push with than T9s against a limper, raiser and caller already in preflop. I played like a child all around in this event, and I'm here to say it to the world. So revel in it -- this won't happen often.

On to other things, congratulations to 23skidoo for taking down the Mondays at the Hoy tournament last night:

Last night's tournament went fairly quick, and featured me getting allin when dominated to go out in 11th place out of 20 players. Ski took home $200 for his efforts, with first-time Hoyer thret winning second prize and $120, and Phin City coming in 3rd for $80, Phin's third Hoy cash in the last five weeks. Congratulations to all of our cashers, in particular to Skidoo who won it all, maybe even for the second time. Ski plays a particular brand of aggressive poker, always pushing and always taking stabs at pots when others have shown weakness. Personally I always enjoy seeing aggressive players like Ski win the blogger events. Ski plays aggro hard and he plays aggro well, to much success in the regular blogger events where I know Ski has recorded several victories over the past few months.

What else....OK so in a bizarre turn of events, LaDainian Tomlinson came through for me last night with about 150 total yards and a score, and, more importantly, Randy Moss also came through by sucking it up to the tune of just 4 catches for 47 yards, and the end result is that, even after yesterday's rant, all three of my fantasy football teams won this weekend. I scored the most points in KJ's blogger league this week, something which I predict that league will be seeing a lot of, and as I mentioned I also managed to beat my boy Aquaverse in my own league to start the season off right. What's more, my beloved Phildelphia Eagles took over sole possession of first place in the NFC East, otherwise known as the greatest division in the NFL this season, after last night's laughable loss by the Redskins to the lowly Minnesota Vikings.

Now that it's over, I'd like to end today with my lasting thoughts on Week 1 of the NFL season:

The Cowboys looked bad. Very blah. TO seems older, heavier, less dominant. And Drew Bledsoe is such an awful decision-maker under pressure. I predict within 1 or 2 more games, tops, TO is going to blow his top at Drew Bledsoe, and we will once again be treated to some classic TO blowups on the sidelines on game day. TO at Bledsoe, TO at his O-coordinator, and eventually TO at Bill Parcells. And I can't wait.

The Redskins looked good at times, but not great. It's so hard to say after just week 1, but the Eagles really could be the second-best team in the NFC East. The Cowboys and Redskins certainly did nothing to impress me otherwise this past weekend.

How awful are the Green Bay Packers going to be this year? Man, Bret Favre should have retired not one but two seasons ago, or at least gotten out of Green Bay. Right now, Favre is reduced to playing like The Living Interception, and with no running game and no go-to receivers on that team, it's going to be a long season along the lake in the upper midwest.

What's up with the Panthers losing to Atlanta at home? I know Steve Smith didn't play, but since when does a team lose that much ground without just their #1 wide receiver in the game? Never fear though, because John Fox remains one of the top handful of coaches in the NFL, and he always likes to start slow but finish strong. Look for Carolina to be around at the end in the NFC.

You know who else looked great this weekend? Chad Pennington, who threw a few touchdowns and also recorded the highest quarterback rating of the week. The Chargers defense, who recorded nine sacks on their way to dominating the crap out of new Raiders QB Aaron Brooks. And speaking of which, remember when Randy Moss used to be a playmaker? What the hell happened to that guy?

OK well that's all for today. Please be sure to enjoy my donkery from the 20k last night. I do not plan to have many hands like that to show you here. But I do plan to play in the WWdN tournament, which is tonight at 8:30pm ET on pokerstars. Wil Wheaton hosts every Tuesday night under the private tab, password is "monkey" as always. See you then.


Blogger meanhappyguy said...

Yeah, I can't tell if the Falcons really surprised me or if the Panthers really let me down.

This week's games look a lot easier to pick than last week's!

11:59 PM  
Blogger Donnie (aka Shadowtwin) said...

Green Bay played possibly the worst game that the fans at lambeau have seen since coming into the league. Normally, no matter how bad a Green Bay team is, they can hold their own at home. To be that utterly, completely dominated should be a sign to Favre. Sure, he isn't the only guy on the team, but when his offense can't manage a field goal, he needs to take at least part of the blame.

It was interesting to see his post game comments though, he was talking about how they are a "young team". So does he really think that he is going to be there 5 years from now when everyone "grows up"? They really need to start playing the QB of the future and let Favre hit the sidelines for moral support, if they plan to be a winning team in the next couple of years.

And Dallas...

I have always been a Dallas fan, but I have never liked Bledsoe, for basically the same reason I have never liked Peyton Manning: So much talk about how good they are, yet they can never win a big game. And TO is a big mistake, much like Deion Sanders was. The name might put butts in the seats, but there comes a time when you have to play the players that can make the team better, not detract from it as a whole with their childish, spoiled antics.

Arizona was also pretty surprising. I mean they have already won one more game than I figured they would all season! I, being an Arizonan, didn't think they had a snowball's chance in hell of winning the first game in their new stadium. They played a great game, especially so on defense. Problem is that in true Cardinals fashion, they were barely able to hold a lead. In fact they seemed to be trying to lose in the fourth quarter. Against any team but San Francisco they probably would have managed it.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Donnie, my favorite part of Favre's post-game comments was how he kept saying that the offense is too conservative and predictable. As if he didn't throw another 2 picks and 0 tds to go with his 29 picks and 20 tds in 16 games last season. But Favre has always had a problem taking personal blame for losses, as seen over the past few years as his team has gone from great to good to mediocre to now downright bad. Someone needs to kick this guy to the curb and bring in the young talent. They really should have encouraged him to sign elsewhere this season. I'd much rather see him slinging balls for the Dolphins than Dante Culpepper, or for the Saints instead of Drew Brees. Green Bay is finito this year, as is Favre's career.

1:10 AM  
Blogger 23skidoo said...

Thanks for the props HOY, now if I can parlay that into some decent football picks I might be on to something!

1:33 AM  
Blogger Jeff B. (JBaldwin) said...

Last night's MATH game was my first of soon to be many. I thoroughly enjoyed the play and banter there. I was invited (told about) this tourney from IG (IronGirl). I ma Jeff from AbsolutelyFreerolls.com, my site and I have my own little (emphasis on little) blog running there. I can't wait till next MOnday and I'll see you there! Thanks for hosting these events. (See you at the Mookie and WWdN as well)

1:34 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Jeff, you're welcome and we love to have you. Thanks for thanking me for setting these things up, but what you really should be thanking me for is the dead money that I contribute every single week, without really having any luck (at all) yet of ever cashing anything back out in this tournament.
Anyways, glad to have you, Jeff, and please feel free to stop by with you and your other friends any time on Monday nights.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Nijle said...

Hey hoy! Its good to see hands like this posted up. For one if you watch ANY poker on TV you will see pro's playing weak hands like that ALL THE TIME be it cash games like high stakes poker or touraments. Its almost glamorous now to limp in or call a weak raise with low suited connectors, or pocket pairs. But they have such a strong post flop game that it's just sick how they can smell a better hand. Therefore taking the odds and tilting them a bit in their favor.

*note the following applies to cash games only*

The bottom line is that over time, limping in with crap like that will net you a negative amount of money. And it happens day after day after day in the cash games. In fact i've heard many bloggers say they don't like lower limit games because they are too loose, and every hand will draw against you. Etc. But that is just the attitude you should not have in a cash game. If the game is loose and people are drawing out every time on K3o or Q9o, etc ... you will eventually win money. Let them call all your bets, sure they will hit their miracle card every now and then, but its all in the odds :) I just hate hearing that people cant win b/c the table is full of calling station's, fish and donkeys.

If you are a strong / smart player, and if you play strong hands against their drawing hands you will will money. It's really that simple.

How the hell did i get on this topic? Something that was stuck in my head sorry ...

Anyway good job on the post, maybe a reality check for the poker newbies that when you play garbage (even suited garbage) you dont hit a set on the flop or a straight flush on the river every time. We all forget that from time to time and talk ourselves into seeing just one more card :)

2:46 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

"lowly" Vikings?


They have the best offensive line in the NFL, and one of the better defenses.

Granted I may be a little biased, but "lowly"?


3:43 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

No offense, Drizz. I just have to say that because your Vikes poached my boys' offensive coordinator for their new head coach this year. And, I think Childress did a horrendous job as the Philly O-Coordinator.

Nothing personal my brotha.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

I'll keep throwing Melbournites at the MATH until we are the dominant force in your tourney :)

4:26 AM  
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