Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hammer Girls 1 - Hoyazo 0, and I am a Cash Game Donk

Well, it happened again last night. I played the WWdN as usual, and was doing ok through the first hour and a half or so of the tournament. At the same time, on my one early poker night of every week (I'm not usually on until the first blogger tournament of the night in most cases these days), I also went and played one of my absolute favorite tournaments, the $30 buyin 6-max mtt on pokerstars. As I have written about here before, this one is an aggro players paradise, and I love the shot to win a few grand in a field of what turned out to be 301 players last night.

And then it happened. First it was a whimper on the baby monitor. As Hammer Wife and I sat, frozen in place and quiet as mice, about a minute of silence went by and then, out of the quiet comes a very recognizable sound: a baby cry. We still sat, me letting my play lapse into "sitting out" in my hands in both of the pokerstars tournaments I was playing at the time, despite being in fairly good shape in both. As those of you with children will understand, Hammer Wife and I are hell bent on not running to pick up the baby as soon as she cries. We haven't done that for months, and she has actually gotten quite good at putting herself back to sleep once she realizes Mommy and Daddy aren't going to come running. It's a good thing. So, Hammer Wife and I remained frozen where we were sitting, hoping against hope that K would go back to sleep before waking up her older sister M, who now sleeps in the same room as K. It wasn't maybe 3 more minutes when Hammer Wife and I heard the unmistakable sound of two crying children. It was all over. The time was 9:40pm ET.

Fast forward to 1:54am ET. That was when I finally returned to my room and to the computer for good. That's how long it took to get everyone back asleep where they needed to be. For my own well-being I don't want to rehash everything that happened, but again for the parents out there, let's just say that there was a 90-minute tantrum -- 2-year-old style, mind you -- plus at least one Dora the Explorer watched, and probably 3 cups of milk consumed by each of the little ones by the time all was said and done, culminating with me rocking the baby to sleep on me on our rocking chair for a good 2 hours until she was finally down deep enough to take the transfer to the crib.

Ironically, I literally sat down at the computer for a 5-minute break after the first 45 minutes or so, only to watch me literally blind out right before my eyes in the WWdN, going out in 17th place after only playing the first half of the event. I was only barely in the top half of the field when I left as I recall, so it wasn't much of a loss financially as it was emotionally since I fully intended to have otherwise won this event.

What's worse is what happened to me in the $30 6-max mtt. I managed to play maybe 15 hands total on random in-and-out breaks from the kids during the time between 9:40pm and 11pm. During those 15 hands, I made some incredible reads and very aggressive moves, all of which paid off to the point that I had managed to claw my way back into the top third of the field with 31 players left at the end of the second hour (having seen only 3% of flops for the entire tournament!), with the top 30 making the money out of 301 players. In fact, I piss Hammer Wife off when I don't come to help out right away because, on the first hand of Round 3, I am dealt pocket Aces. I limp from EP, because I know I will have to disappear again after this hand and want the best chance to get all my chips into the middle and get a call, which I figure is more likely once the flop is out than right now before the flop hits the board if I just move allin. Long story short, I get called by a sooted Hammer by one of the biggest remaining stacks in the tournament, the flop comes 742 rainbow, and IGH. In 31st place out of 301 players, with top 30 positions paying. By losing with AA to a sooted Hammer, played by a non-blogger but just a random dickhead with a large stack, which I'm sure he acquired by making bonehead plays like that.

So, things are not going well for me in mtt land lately, that is for sure. I seem to be playing very well, and unlike my mtt drought this past summer, over the past several days I am making killer reads and am just getting housed by the cards. That kind of thing can't last, but I have to say it feels good to know that, at least with respect to my past several days, there is not any leak in my play that is causing me to be eliminated from these tournaments. I am consistently getting the money in as a significant favorite, and am consistently getting my opponents to do more or less exactly what I want them to do. The results are going to start to show again when I pulling off those two feats with the consistency I am right now, so I look forward to continuing to play on whatever sites will allow me to play once Bushie signs the anti-money-transfers-for-gaming bill this Friday.

Now, back to my cash game hand that I posted about yesterday. One thing is very, very clear from the many thoughtful comments I received: I am a cash game donkey! Seriously. I know this, which is why I don't play cash games, so it's not like this comes as any surprise to me whatsoever. But I have to say, the regularity with which one commenter after another kept repeating that JJ must have either trips or a straight on the turn was shocking to me. Is shocking to me.

I will just spoil the surprise right now. JJ was in fact holding T9 and had made his straight on the turn card. I felt like I had a good read on the guy that he was playing AK or AQ almost all the way through the hand, and when he bet out for $3.75 on the river, I was fairly sure it was either AK or maybe A3 for a rivered two pair that he thought was ahead of my AK.

I have to say, I really like all of the analysis from the many, many posters who explained why they felt JJ had to have something better than the one pair or low two pairs I thought he had. In the end, I think the most compelling arguments that I overlooked are that (1) JJ is a very good cash game player, a fact which I know and should have better taken into account when formulating my read of him, and (2) JJ knows how I play, both from reading my blog on occasion and from playing a great many tournaments with me, at my table, etc. In the end, even as I review the hand and take into account all of the comments I received to yesterday, I have to give JJ credit for playing this hand exactly like someone who was playing a medium to strong Ace or two pairs.

I got completely fooled here. And I'm embarrassed to say, I responded to JJ's $3.75 bet on the river by putting him allin for another $18 or so. Which he called, of course. So this was a $26 loss for me overall on this mis-read. I guess top two pairs is not enough to put someone allin with on the river, when they have shown almost-too-obvious weakness throughout the whole hand, yet managed to keep calling whatever bets were thrown at him. At least not against a good player like JJ, and especially against someone who knows I am likely to put them on this sort of hand if they check-call with me through to the river. Lesson learned.

And this my friends is why, despite all of my multi-table tournament successes in various poker variations, I am still a Cash Game Donkey.

You can see this donkey tonight at the Mookie tournament. 10pm ET on Full Tilt. Password, as always for Mookie's events, is "vegas1". See you there!

Heeeeeeee Hawwwwwwww!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh the good life... Two lil girls to keep ya awake at night and interrupt your gaming lifestyle. Lol, them were the days sir. But savor it while it lasts as the next thing you know they'll be dying their hair black and cropping it short asking you to get a piercing through their nose! Nah, no blogger's child would ever commit such travesties!

Take care Sir and keep up the great work!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Thanks Tommy, I appreciate the comments.

And I'll have you know, no child of mine is ever getting their nose pierced. Not while they're living under my roof they're not.

9:48 PM  
Blogger jjok said...

The kiddos have been driving me looney of late too....sorry about the troubles.....

As for the hand......

I can't stress enough that this was at the .10/.25 table......the pot on the river prior to my bet is the equivalent to 25 BB's. My bet was for 15BB's, so a call means the pot will be 55BB's. That's a pretty decent chunk at any limit.

1. Flop is good for me. Rainbow, open-ender, and an ace which is a likely holding for someone......

2. Deliberately slow check-call on the turn with the nuts. Questionable? Yes. An open-raise or a check-raise here screams of a big holding. If I have a set, I am more than likely raising here, even on a rainbow board.......

3. Blocker/Value bet on the river. Obvious decision here, but the real question is how much? Half pot is a good guide because it is fairly weak and can induce a raise. A pot sized bet might get called here or it could fatally induce a fold......which is criminal. Any decent holding here has to call a half-pot bet (even top pair with K,Q, or T), but the possibilities of a raise are much bigger.

I am sure that other cash-guys would probably smack me over the head here with my weak bet because I am not maximizing my potential take on the hand.......but a 15BB bet on the river getting called is better than a 25-30BB bet that causes your opponent to fold.......and if the raise cometh, woohoo!! AK and AQ have to make the call here, let alone top 2 with AJ........

I'll take an "almost guaranteed" 55BB pot with a good possibility of a reraise over the potential to get only 25BB's any day.

Just one way to play it

10:53 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

So, do you just sit there frozen or do you talk to the monitor like your trying to cajole your kids to sleep?

Depending on the situation, I'll do one, the other, or both. Ah, parenting. It's never dull, is it?

10:53 PM  
Blogger jjok said...

I also find it funny that every single comment said you had to at least call. I guess my bet was the right amount......????

Thanks for the analysis on this times.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Joanne1111 said...

Can't imagine who you are talking about, tommy are right, no blogger's child would ever want to do something like that ;)

10:57 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Dam just look at JJ's comment over there. This guy took me for suckers, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. It doesn't happen often, but when it does I actually tend to enjoy being outplayed this badly. I'm always looking to learn more or get more experience, so this was a real eye-opener for me.

I still say, though, that against a not-so-good cash player, I assume I'm ahead and maybe even put in a raise of some kind on the river.

And JJ, I assume that, if you had known I was holding precisely AJ, you would have probably bet a bit more on the river, no? Maybe a full pot-sized bet? Obviously in this case you got me to do exactly what you wanted me to do, so I don't see how anyone can argue with your play there.

11:26 PM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

You’re not really a donkey, you just lack cash game experience. You actually played this hand like a tournament hand. You’re not really under any pressure to accumulate chips in a cash game since you are not facing escalating blinds. Don’t be so eager to push all your chips in unless you have the nuts and you’ll avoid getting stacked more often than not.

12:04 AM  
Blogger jjok said... is where I heard about firepay.....I'm digging for more info too.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baby Tilt is the worst kind. You hear a baby cry and your mind turns to much. Unless my baby's sick I don't ever go pick her up. I know that might sound heartless, but it's for her own good. A bad night's sleep turns into a bad day of naps and a complete mess of the sleep schedule. Luckily a friend got us a video baby monitor so we can see if she's standing up, laying down or trying to climb out of the crib.

The only donk move you made was the push at the end. I always think of the worst situation and try to work back from there. I ask myself what are the absoulte nuts, second nuts, third, etc. I then try to see based on the betting patterns if my opponent could hold a better hand than mine and if I don't think it's the nut hand I start to think about the possibility of bluffing.

I would just call the last bet.

1:48 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

donkerific. see ya at the mOOk.

2:13 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

You know I feel your pain as I go through a second iteration of Can Two of Them Fall Asleep Together?

You realize of course we'd both be superstars on the WPT if it wasn't for A) our families and B) our jobs.

I guess I'm cool with that.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

I sat out most of the WWdN also being a daddy.

In fact we seemed to have gotten back to the computer at the same time when you were blinding out.

1:37 AM  

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