Monday, September 11, 2006

Weekend Update, and Mondays at the Hoy Tonight

Well. We're not even to the first Monday night game of the new NFL season, and already I'm on fantasy football tilt. This has got to be my last year playing fantasy football. I mean it. The last couple of years, it seems like everything that can go wrong does go wrong for me, and it all conspires together to make sure that I just manage to lose most weeks. It's unbelievable. What's that, you want details? Ok, I'll give you some details.

Last year in my ffl league, I am in the playoffs unless I lose both of my last two games, both against non-playoff teams. So in the first week, I beat the guy who was then in 5th place in my league by a measly point. But then (I can't believe I'm even reliving this, it is so unbelievable) on friggin Tuesday morning, two days after the Sunday games ended, Yahoo! puts in a stat correction for one of my opponent's players, and suddenly I go from winning by 0.8 points to losing by 0.2. It was donktastic. Then, the last week of the season I'm still in like Flynn because I'm playing the guy with the worst record in my league, with only 2 wins out of 13 weeks at that point. But never fear, his players all go on a tear, and mine suck balls and voila, I am out of the playoffs for the first time in years. I still can't believe that all happened.

Now look at this year already, in the blogger league for example. I'm playing Presdlee, and even though I score the 2nd most points in the entire league, I just happen to be up against the guy who scores the most. It's enough to make a man throw up in his own mouth, to use one of Bill Parcells's favorite expressions. But this is just the way things go for me in fantasy football these days. And it isn't fun or funny. So anyways, Randy Moss will do me in tonight in the blogger league, and otherwise at least I did manage to win in my league, besting the mighty Aquaverse in the Battle of the Brothers to start off the season right. Looks like I royally scrooged up week 1 in the Pickem league, but hey I'll be back. And my Eagles! Talk about a domination. While our secondary continues to be among the worst in NFL (history), our offense looked sharp as a tack, and in particular recent acquisition Donte Stallworth, the anti-TO wearing #18, looked phenomenal. Stallworth looked and played every bit as well as TO ever did when he was in Philly. And meanwhile, speaking of which, I thought Dallas looked pretty shitey at home against Jacksonville yesterday, something I was thrilled to see. Sure, TO got his late trash-time touchdown, but he was in no way dominating in that game, and let's face it all you despicable Cowboy fans out there: Drew Bledsoe sucks! It's official if you didn't know. Bledsoe will never take a team to the promised land, period. I would guess that it's only a matter of minutes before TO and Drew Bledsoe's relationship starts to head way south in a hurry. Talk about a recipe for disaster. Drew Bledsoe, add some TO, and then stir in some Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones to boot. What a mess.

Speaking of my NFL Pickem league on Yahoo!, I wanted to post here the list of the players who bought in for $10, now that the deadline has passed. The lucky 19 players are:

1. Mowenumdown (KJ)
2. Jeciimd
3. Shadowtwin (Donnie)
4. Pokerwolf (Drew)
5. Jordan
6. Meanhappyguy
7. Lester100
8. SoxLover
9. Miami Don
10. GScottW
11. Pokerstage
12. Bluto
13. Drizz
14. Lifesagrind
15. 23skidoo
16. lumpy
17. Presdlee
18. JJ
19. Hoyazo (Me)

If I've missed a link or a blog for anyone on the above list, or if you think you paid me but it's not showing up on the above list, please email me at sandlerm at gmail dot computer and we'll figure out what's up.

So, with 19 players and $190 in the total prize pool, I am going to suggest two options in the way of payouts for the Pickem league. Either we can do something like $120 and $70 for the top 2 finishers, or alternatively we could even do something more like $100, $60 and $30 for the top 3 finishers. I am basically indifferent between those two outcomes, so why don't people just let me know their thoughts. I will post this over at the Pickem message board tonight as well, so you can just weigh in there, via email or in comments here if you are one of the paying participants and have any thoughts.

OK. Isn't this supposed to be a poker blog?

First, tonight is the first night of the new week, and that means it's once again time for Mondays at the Hoy:

One of the things I love about the MATH tournaments is that they are on Mondays. On Mondays, it's been a few days since any of us have played in an organized tournament among the poker blogging community, and it's always also a nice way to get tuned up for the WWdN on Tuesdays, and the Mookie on Wednesdays, which this week is moving to Full Tilt. The Hoy is staying at pokerstars for now, because they make it so easy for me to set up the tournament every week, so come out tonight and make your play for the big prize pool, as I have made sure to set this up as a $20 buyin like always for the Mondays at the Hoy tournaments. We've had nice traffic at this event throughout the summer, but now with fall almost officially here and the summer vacation season all but over, I'm definitely expecting to see participation pick up in all of the blogger tournaments as we head into the winter months. Either way, with the $20 buyin for the MATH tournament every Monday at 10pm ET, we are always playing for a nice chunk of coin for the top few finishers at least, so come on out and join us for some fun, poker blogger style! And you always get to watch me invent some new way not to cash in this tournament, which is always a fun thing to behold.

So, this weekend I didn't play any poker on Friday or Saturday night, but I played for a good while on Sunday night, including the 30k guaranteed tournament at 10pm ET on full tilt. And, (unfortunately, since I didn't win the tournament) that means I have another hand to post here, showing how I lost most of my chips and effectively got eliminated from contention in the 30k last night.

It's the first 30 minutes or so of the 30k, and I've managed to grow my starting stack from 1500 to 1830 on a few nice hands and a little luck. I'm in the cutoff, and I've got just one early position limper in for the 15-30 blinds when the action gets to me. I've got QQ, in a position where I am likely to be put on a steal attempt as much as anything else, so I'm liking where I'm at here. Since the EP limper was short (660 chips total), I put in a larger than normal raise here, in the hopes of isolating with him and getting him to move me in with what I was sure was a worse holding than my pocket whores Queens:

Then, the small blind did this:

and the original limper folded. So, my plan to isolate with the short stack EP preflop limper didn't work, and now I'm facing an allin from a player who hasn't done much in the few minutes he's been at my table so far. I have no read on him, and his allin move here to me clearly indicates a strong hand. I was thinking AK or maybe a middle-high pair like 99, TT or JJ. Either way, I figured there's no way I can put this guy on Aces or Kings, and even though I clearly thought AK was his most likely holding, I figured there are enough other cards he could be moving in with here that I have to call. And:

Slam. And IGH:

OK so we know already from my last 20k elimination post on Friday that I am actively focusing on not making too crazy of moves early on in these large mtt's. But in this case, was I really supposed to lay down here? I'd love to hear from someone who claims they would have laid it down, and, more specifically, how they arrive at the conclusion to lay this down here. While I knew full well that I could be up against AA, KK or AK, any one of which could beat my pocket Queens without too much trouble, I just don't see how I could lay down the third best possible starting hand in holdem to this allin reraise here from the small blind. And again, it's not that I thought he was stealing with nothing, but rather that I simply couldn't put him on one of the two most premium starting hands in no-limit holdem, and I just couldn't bring myself to pass up this brilliant opportunity to double up with what seemed to me highly likely to be the best hand going in to the flop. Did I screw this one up too? Was I too aggressive here? Should I have laid down my Queens to that reraise? I'd love to know your thoughts. I just didn't see how I could do that in this spot.

OK, see you tonight at Mondays at the Hoy!!


Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

The dilemna for me with queens in that situation is that a decent number of good players will try to rep AA or KK with big reraises or pushes, hoping the other player is good enough to lay down KK - JJ. So I like the call. Yeah you go home with them once in a while. But you and I play this damn thing enough to see with regularity the AKo - AJo push done to rep AA. Given that, I push. I think JJ is my usual line in the sand.

10:31 PM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

Not an easy laydown by any means, but look at it from the SB's perspective: LP raises 8x the BB and I have aces. An 8x BB raise isn't likely to laydown their hand to a reraise, so I push with my aces knowing that you will call.

I agree with you though, *thinking* that I could lay down the queens here and actually doing it are two very different things.

The last time I laid down Queens preflop, it was in a similar hand like this, but I was in the BB in this hand, so a big raise then an all-in in front of me. I was about 90% sure someone had Aces or Kings. What did I see?

ATo and 88.


10:47 PM  
Blogger jeciimd said...

I don't think the problem is so much the call, but the preflop raise. Follow me put in a bigger than normal raise against a smaller stack. I understand the rationale behind going for the isolation, but how many times have you seen somebody put in an unusually large preflop raise with pocket 3s or worse? A smaller raise (3-4x) likely will accomplish the same goals (i.e. isolating the small stack)and may have prompted a "less than all-in reraise" from the sb. Of course u might still have gotten stacked but that's what's supposed to happen when pocket queens run into pocket aces.

1:32 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i wouldn't beat myself up on that QQ hand.

you can't laydown QQ preflop in the first hr of that tourney. you know how many donks go to war with A-rag or KQo all in preflop.

i played the 30k last night too. i got pretty deep but, didn't end up cashing. started getting low and pushed it all in on a coin flip. i think playing 3+hrs and getting zip is a lost worse than going out before the 1st break.

2:40 AM  
Blogger riverbender said...

eh, hard to lay down for sure and I'm not even sure that would be the correct play.

However, if you're looking for reasons - it's early, you have no read on SB, and and any two cards can draw out on you.

Why can't you put him on AA, KK? You can't just automagically remove those from the list of possible holdings - especially sans a read!!!

I assume people play ABC until they prove me wrong. It usually only takes 2-3 orbits to know who's gonna make moves. If you hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary you can't simply eliminate the hands you don't want him to hold OR think he wouldn't make this play with. You can't ignore the fact that he pushed after a big raise.

I agree with jeciimd. I think the problem started PF. You aren't going to isolate an EP limper with an oversized raise (he's folding, he limped remember?) - unless of course he limped with AA, KK. 4-5xBB probably would have been enough to fold the blinds if they were going to. If I'm SB I'm pushing with AA as well. I'm certainly not calling 8xBB only to let some trash stealing rags suck out on me. Again.

QQ is not a whole hell of a lot better than JJ. Would you call with JJ? Given it was only the 2nd level I don't think there's any shame in laying this down - though from the little I've read here, I think it's safe to say I'm a bit more conservative than you.

If you had a read that SB was lag or something then call all day everyday.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Great comments as always. Let me clarify one point here: I do not mean to suggest that he has not acted like a guy with AA or KK. He acted exactly the way I would expect the guy with AA or KK to act. My point was that it's not like I'm automatically going to put anyone on AA or KK just because they move allin there. As Smokkee says in an earlier post, in the first hour of the large guaranteed tournaments, people will make that move with just about anything, certainly the middle high pairs, AK, AQ, AJs, ATs even, and even cripe like Ax sooted, KQ, JTs, etc. So all I'm saying is that, of all those possible hands that might be played the same way as this allin reraise here, I don't see how I can put him precisely on AA or KK, the only two hands I am realistically afraid of.

And, for what it's worth, I know there are plenty of people who would play AA in this way here. No doubt about that. But, I know a whole lot of people online who would play the AA or KK a bit slower in this situation too. In my experience, it's often the AK or QQ/JJ types of hands that tend to push huge like this preflop after a limper and a raiser are already in the pot ahead of them. So I actually had reason to think this player did not have Aces or Kings, and thus any other hand was an underdog to my pocket biatches.

3:21 AM  
Blogger NewinNov said...

That was a tough call. It is true that some people really push with less than premium hands in that situation early on in a MTT. Hard to know if he is a solid player until you've seen some action. I agree with Smokkee that better to get out early than leave with nothing after 3 hours+ of play.

BTW - thanks for your comment about why you play FT; gives me an extra push to start playing at Full Tilt more.

4:04 AM  
Blogger Randy G said...

The Cowboys played @ Jacksonville, not at home. Yes they still sucked. You were dead on in that point. How's this for fantasy bad beats: Matt Hasselbeck and S. Alexander combine for a swift 4 points in my league when projected to have a combined 27 points (Thanks SA for the 0 point performance!)

4:48 AM  
Blogger Donnie (aka Shadowtwin) said...

After you put in that huge bet preflop, the guy who pushed knows that you are likely to call it, and he isn't afraid. That reeks of aces. Espcially so early in a tournament when your average player doesn't have the capacity to think beyond his own two cards.

I would love to say that I would have layed it down here, but in reality, my thought process would have talked me right out of it. Something like this: "well, he raised my 8x bet so he has to know that I am going to call it. But he knows that I know that he knows that I am going to call it, therefore it is likely a stone bluff. Push 'em in already you pussy!" And I too would have gone home on that hand.

As many times as I have been burned with queens, I still won't fold them preflop unless I am faced with two (or more) other people already all in. And even then it is going to depend a lot on stack size and table position. Sometimes someone else gets a monster on the same hand as you, and if you are actually able to read that, especially with only on-line tells, you are clairvoyant.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Max said...

I cannot fault your play here at all. The range of hands an average online player pushes with here is pretty wide. If you call and are dominated, you appreciate the fact there's no bad beat, and if you go on to win the hand you can play big stack poker and give yourself a serious shot at a nice payday.

Even if you lose it you still have 345 left with the blinds low enough to duck and dodge a bit while waiting for a hand to push with.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Joanne1111 said...

I agree 100% with how you played this hand, especially since you did have him outchipped. The blinds were low enough still that you could have made a comeback with the right cards or opportunities - you didn't risk your tournament life entirely on this hand.

I do think his all-in play screamed Aces though.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Here's the interesting part of the post, which I'm not sure you've touched on.

You've said over and over and over that you "follow your reads a lot". But, in this situation you don't have a read at all! How much of a handicap is that for you in this situation, Hoy? I think it's a big one, personally. At this point, you only have 250 chips invested in the pot. It's early in the tournament and you still have a lot of stack to play with. That would make me pause to consider what I was doing, for sure. How did you come to the conclusion that the guy didn't have AA/KK when you didn't have a read on the guy? Personally, I tend to give people more credit for stronger hands until I have solid proof that they're playing marginal cards. Sure, it's frustrating and annoying when they show their worse hands, but it's early and you'd still have a stack to play well. I can't say that I could get away from this hand (that would be really hard to do..ugh...), but from this passage:

And again, it's not that I thought he was stealing with nothing, but rather that I simply couldn't put him on one of the two most premium starting hands in no-limit holdem, and I just couldn't bring myself to pass up this brilliant opportunity to double up with what seemed to me highly likely to be the best hand going in to the flop.

It sounds like all your thinking is "LOTS OF CHIPS! GIVE ME CHIPS!". That may not be the case, but how fast did you make this call? It sounds like you convinced yourself to call this all-in by dismissing AA/KK right off the bat even though you didn't have a read on this player. In other words, it sounds you convinced yourself to call here.

8:09 PM  
Blogger DWC said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:47 AM  
Blogger DWC said...

My top three do NOTs in a NLHE mtt during the early stages (first round or two).

1. Do NOT play out of position except with pocket pairs, AK or suited connecters.
2. Do NOT get into big pots with marginal holdings.
3. Do NOT go all-in before or after the flop in a possible coin flip situation where you would be crippled or knocked out of the tourney.

Let me briefly explain my reasons for these three.

1. Pretty standard here. People tend to play looser in the beginning of a tourney and I don’t want to get suckered into it. If I play only with premium hands or hands with very good EV, I should be able to get decent chips for my good hands. So even though I am playing less than most, the hands I have will pay off more early on with looser opponents.

2. Again, pretty standard. If I call a pre-flop raise with AJ and the flop is Q J 3 rainbow, I am not going to call a bet that is near or over pot size. It’s just too early in the tournament to risk getting sucked into a big pot. Even if it’s with 2nd pair, top kicker. I won’t explain further since we all understand what I am saying and it’s not directly pertaining to the issue of the post.

3. Here is the rule that matters here. Obviously if I hold something like JJ on the button and UTG raises 4x and the guy next to me reraises all-in with somewhere near my total chip stack, this is an obvious fold that would clearly pertains to this rule. The grey area is what this post is about. You raised with QQ way more than 5x the BB. The SB goes all-in. Would I call in this situation? Not if I follow my rule and I will explain why. A) If he has AA or KK you are dominated. If he has AK, it’s a coin flip. Coin flip possibilities early in the tourney should almost never be acted upon. There is still tons of playing left to go. B) You don’t have a read on the player yet and he seems to be fairly tight. If he had been showing signs of being loose or a raise machine, you might call but you said that he hasn’t been very active. That does not translate into being loose. C) If you fold, you will not be crippled. You have PLENTY of chips left to play with still at this stage. D) At this stage in the tournament, if you win, what is 3k in chips really going to do for you? It doesn’t even come close to guaranteeing you to cash. With 200 players (estimating) in the tourney and starting with 1500 chips, to be an AVERAGE chip stack at the final table, you would need to have 30,000 in chips so you still have a long way to go. The risk is not great enough here.

So to sum up the way I would (SHOULD, lol) play it, I would fold here with my still very decent chip stack and wait for a better spot when I can be fairly sure I am ahead and being the aggressive one. I played a mtt tourney last night where I got AA or KK 4 times and 3 of the four times the smaller stacks moved all-in and I won. It pays off to wait for better opportunities most the time. In most tourneys, they WILL come. At least that’s the way I play it. Calling there wasn’t horrible though and with 3k in chips if you win, you could start to possibly throw some muscle around, but you have to ask yourself, what am I risking here and what is my reward? Is the reward (a 600 chip lead over my next closest opponent) really worth the risk here? One last observation I notice alot, is that usually when someone in the SB raises all-in or bets huge, they have a monster hand. Especially if they are not a short stack.

7:16 AM  
Blogger drewspop said...

Yo, is this the Baker league thing you are talking about Hoy? I am so behind on reading posts it is sick. Was I supposed to send you $10? Am I too late?

9:52 PM  

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