Friday, September 15, 2006

Wednesday Night Poker

Just a quick blurb today, as I did not play much last night given my all-nighter-minus-20-minutes-of-sleep on Tuesday when I took down the stars $11 Rebuy Madness tournament. I played in the Mookie last night, as I always aim to do on Wednesday nights at 10pm ET, now on Full Tilt. 39 players showed up, a vere respectable crowd especially given Mookie's recent move of his weekly tourney from pokerstars over to ftp. You all know how much I love full tilt, so personally I love that move, but I know there are people who don't play there, don't even have the software on their system, don't have any beans deposited there, etc. So 39 players was another great turnout for Mookie. And long story short, I was dead tired from basically not having slept in 48 hours, and I definitely did not feel "on my game" enough to play my usual aggressive style. I knew I was not going to be able to hone in on the subtle factors that contribute to my making reads on people who raise preflop, bet on the flop, etc. So I decided to go with the ubertight strategy for the evening and do a little experiment with a style of play that is definitely not my usual style.

The results? Unsurprising. By playing very tight, I got involved in very few hands early of any significance. In fact I probably only played one or two semi-large pots in the entire first hour or more of the event. Long story short, I managed to make it all the way down to 12th out of the 39 players, a finish that is, quite frankly, better than most of the blogger tournaments I have played of late. But does this mean I will be playing tight poker for the foreseeable future in my blogger tournaments? Hale no. By playing really tight, as I mentioned I didn't play that many pots. This enabled me to stick around for quite a while, whlie other players were out there taking chances and making moves, and were dropping like flies all around me.

With 12 players left, however, as is often the case with ubertight players, I was short stacked. And as hard as it is just chip-wise to win a tournament once you're short, it becomes even harder when, because of that very short stackedness that my own tight play has created, I end up having to push preflop with a hand like A7s from middle position when no one else was in the pot yet. Then the player immediately after me goes over the top allin, isolates with me and flips over an Ace with a higher kicker, and IGH in 12th place. This is the problem with playing ubertight, and it's why I won't consider playing that way as a rule in future MTTs. I think this was not only instructive but actually kinda fun to do as a learning exercise, in the same way as the idea I've read on several blogs of just going into a tournament and refusing to call any bets. Either raise, or fold, period. This is already the way I play for the most part, so that is not an exercise I would normally entertain doing, but for many players I see online I would think that would be a very helpful tool for one's game. Well, playing really tight poker was fun and interesting in that same way last night, but it ended up with me exactly where most tight players who execute well end up -- near the final table, having lasted a reasonably long time, but with not a lot of chips, and therefore not many options available to be to keep ahead of the ever-escalating blinds and antes once you're near the end of the tournament. In the end, our boy Surflexus took it down again:

which I believe is Surf's 10,000th blogger tournament win this year. I mean this guy is always lurking, whether it's the Mookie, the WWdN or the Not, the guy is always a threat to take it down. Well played, Surf, and congratulations.

But, speaking of really congratulating someone, check this final leaderboard out from last night's 20k guaranteed tournament on full tilt:

Now that's what I'm talkin about! Check out your friend and mine Iakaris, out in 10th place for his new best finish ever in this 20k event, and then look higher on the list and you will see fellow blogger Lifesagrind who went out in a smashing third place in the 20k! Congratulations are in order to both Iak and especially Lifesagrind for their stunning finishes last night, both personal records for each player in this tournament. And as someone who has played the 20k, oh um, about a thousand times now, I can say without hesitation that final tabling that bad boy is a serious feat. And, I had the privilege of starting my own 20k performance last night at Grind's table, where we both enjoyed multiple pots that were seriously donked over to us on silver platters by some horrifically bad play, although unfortunately for Grind, I was plucked away from that table early in Round 2 before Grind could get his hands on my chips, stolen away from my fellow blogger and plopped down onto a whole new random table.

Where Iakaris was sitting two seats to my right. So I got to play my entire time in the 20k last night with a guy I knew and have played against before at my table. That was fun, and is a very rare occurrence I can say, again, from someone who has a lot of experience playing in this particular tournament. And, well, Iak managed to get his hands on a whole lot of my chips pretty quickly after I sat at his table. In fact, Iak himself busted me when he raised the 120-240 blinds up to 1000 chips from the button when no one was in yet, and I put him on an obvious steal, so went ahead and moved in for my last 2700 or so chips (I was about half the average stack at that point) with Q8s from the big blind. It was a bad hand, but I figured Iak was just stealing and was unlikely to call my allin reraise without some kind of a serious hand.

Oh how wrong our reads can be sometimes. I was originally going to post how I think Iak made a bad call here, as he called my allin reraise preflop with AJo. You all know what I think about people who call preflop allins with AJ generally. However, in this case, I think I know exactly what happened, and I don't think it was nearly the bad call that it otherwise would be to call an allin reraise with AJo preflop. In this case, Iak knew he had made a stealy-looking raise from a stealy position, and he knows very much how I play my game. So when I reraise him allin here, he has to at least consider seriously that I don't have much of a hand. He knows all too well that I'm the type of player to make a move with not much if I think he is stealing, and that's what this is. Iak can afford to lose this hand anyways even if he is wrong. So he does the manly thing and makes an otherwise inadvisable play based solely on his read of me and of the situation we're in. And he is right. Iak's AJo holds up against my Q8s when I make a pair of 8s on the flop, but then he spikes an Ace on the river and IGH. So instead of killing that call, I say "Nice play" to you, Iak. As I said, I love a guy who forms a read based on what he knows about his opponent, and then has the courage to act on that read.

Anyways, Iak and Grind both in the top 10 in the 20k guaranteed -- I love it! That's the kind of action I like to see out on the virtual felt. I would love to see the mtt-playing blogger community make a run at the 20k en masse, playing it often like myself, Iak, Captain Suckout and some others do, until one of us takes the dam thing down. Grind managed to bring home $2719 and change for his 3rd place last night, and you certainly can't complain about that. But I just can't shake this feeling that the 20k title, and the concurrent $5000-$6000 payout that comes with it, is going to be handed to a poker blogger sometime soon. Could it be me? Why not you? I'll be in there again tonight I think, so come find me and tell me that you're (wo)man enough to join the quest to win the ftp 20k. One of us can do it, I'm sure of it.


Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Glad I get to be first in on this one. Your assessment of what was going through my head exactly mirrors what I posted today. Having developed a fair bit of my MTT game under this blog's tutelage, and with you being exhausted from the night before - I feel like I had an unfair advantage on that hand.

I am totally with you on taking the 20k down. We've got a regular crew taking serious shots at it, I think its just a matter of time before a blogger lays claim to it.

Watch it be one of our cash game specialists, Don, JJ or Wes!

4:22 AM  
Blogger RoccoBoxer said...

"A quick blurb" - that's funny. GG last night in the Knot

7:46 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...


on the first screenshot after the deal wuz made, i saw your chip count at approx 3.3m when you pushed with the sOOOted hammer over the top of the button's preflop raise. so, my first impression wuz you were second in chips when the deal wuz done.

if i were 2nd in chips, i wouldn't have taken that deal. since you were 3rd in chips slightly ahead of the shorty, it's not a bad deal. but, i understand why peepl might second guess your decision since you ended up taking it down.

i recently finished 2nd and 3rd in the 12k and probably could've swung a deal when we got shorthanded to guarantee more. but, since i felt i had a real shot at first, i didn't bring it up. i wanted to get more final table short handed experience playing for 1st. i still made a nice cash each time and don't regret my decision.

after a deal is made, i would expect the play to become a donkfest. much like the end of a token tourney when you've locked up your token.

congratulations on the cash. it's a nice score. i wouldn't second guess the deal that wuz made.

- captain suckout

11:49 PM  

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