Friday, January 12, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Football?

I'll get to my title topic in a minute. First, some bad beat stories.

Last night, I started off the evening by playing in the nightly 100k tournament on pokerstars, as well as Al's kickoff Riverchasers tournament on full tilt. I busted from the 100k late in the first hour after amassing a decent early stack, when my JJ ran into QQ allin preflop. Normally this is something I would expect to be mildly pitied for, but in this case I will take the credit for that loss. I was in the small blind, and preflop UTG limped for 30 chips. UTG+1 raised it up to 90. It was folded around to the cutoff, who reraised it to 240. So, I was facing a UTG limp, then a raise and a reraise from late position. At least the guy in late position had to have something strong, and even just after I moved allin with my pocket Jacks from the small blind, I knew at least one of these people was going to call me with a higher pair or two overs. As I've discussed many times here on the blog, I think only an abject donkey would want to get allin preflop here with pocket Jacks even if I was fairly sure someone else only had two overs. Why take a fucking 52% chance this early in the tournament? I should have just folded my Jacks in that spot, or at the very worst smooth called, but instead I moved in, UTG called with AQo (what a fucking donkey jassack), and the cutoff called with the Queens, and IGH. My fault.

But Riverchasers was a different story entirely. In this one I started off at a table with nobody I knew, which was a great thing since -- if you've played this event before, you know just what I mean -- the competition here is not exactly pro-level, and the fewer bloggers at my table, the better. I played smart, tight-aggressive poker, made a few preflop calls that I had to fold on the flop, won 1 or 2 pots, and eventually got moved with around the same 1500 chips I started with. At the new table, I did one of my favorite moves and just open-limped from the small blind with what is normally definitely a raising in this spot -- KTs. The bb limps as well, and we see a flop of T72 rainbow. I make a smallish bet, around half the pot, at the stranger in the big blind. He raises me 3 or 4x. I take a lot of time to think this over, to send a message of weakness to this guy who has no clue how I play, and then I reverse hoy his ass. He takes all of 2 seconds to call for (almost) the rest of his chips. I'm thinking Fuck I just ran into two pairs or trips, right? Wrong. The donk flips over T9o. He called for all of his chips on the flop with top pair Tens, and a 9 kicker. This is what I mean about the level of competition in this event, generally. So as I'm counting up my new chips, the 9 surreptitiously falls on the turn, and IGH to two pairs by an uber donkey.

An hour or so later last night, I'm playing in the $55 buyin, 6-max nlh tournament at 11:15pm ET on pokerstars, and there is a real uber asshole at my table. I stole a couple of pots from him early by being real sneaky, and he was not exactly the type of player to be able to figure out what I was doing, and he got pissy in the chat after both of them. Yeah, this was a real winner of a poker player fo sho. So for the next hour, this guy proceeds to insult me in the chat, which of course led to me laying back into him but good myself in the chat, the first time I've really gone to town on someone in pokerstars chat since my own banning days of "threatening the internal cervical health of Lee Jones' daughters", to use a nice euphomism. Anyways, if you know me, then you know about my legendary trash talking prowess in the chat feature, and believe me when I say I lambasted this guy so good in the chat that the entire table was laughing at him almost every hand. Every time this guy made a move, I embarrassed him. The fact that he was a terrible donkeyplayer helped of course, but suffice it to say I am quite sure he was regretting even getting up in the morning yesterday by the time I got through with him, let alone having signed up to play in this tournament.

Well, he and I were just fixing to play another pot together, and eventually two hours into this event, just 10 or 20 spots from the money in fact, we got our chance. He was the small blind and I was the big blind, and it was folded around to him. I have AKo. So I start typing into the chat "You will fold to me. NOW!!!" He opts to limp instead. So now I've got AK and I know I'm ahead of him, and I know I'm going to play here, and I'm smelling blood. Donkey blood. So before I act, I type in "Did you not hear my order to you? Now you will fold! Immediately! Kneel before Zod!!" And I put in a 5x raise, bigger than my normal raise in this spot, because I wanted this to look extra special stealy.

Donkeyboy insta-reraises me allin, almost as fast as I can call him for all my chips, and he flips up...

A7o. The Tourist. What a donkey.

But no sooner have I typed in "oops" in the chat, than a 7 comes on the flop. Fuckers. And IGH shortly before the money. And donkeyboy even has the nerve to type in "donk" to me before I leave the table. What a fuckass. I can't stand it when a dickwad acts like an asshole, you embarrass him with your chat and then with your play, and yet the poker gods still send you home despite your obvious deservedness. That fucking sucked. I keep telling myself this morning not to make too big of a deal about these two horrifying suckouts, and I want to believe it does not signify the end of my hot hot streak of late. I mean, I am still playing great. Could I have played either of these hands any better? In both situations I duped my opponent into betting all their chips at me with a dominated hand. So I'm not going to worry too much about the streak. Still, over the past couple of months, I could count the number of 2- and 3-outers I have lost to on one hand, and certainly it's never been two in the same night. So I'm hoping tonight will bring a return to normalcy for my poker play.

Anyways, I am remiss that I never formally announced here the winners of my NFL Pick'em league for 2007, including three guys to whom I owe some cash into their pokerstars accounts, which will be transferred as soon as I clear up the identity of the actual winner. My apologies for not getting to this sooner.

Congratulations are in order to A Bunch of No Name Scrubs for winning the pickem league this year. He did so in impressive fashion, takng the lead somewhere around Week 10 and simply never giving it up after that. Unfortunately, I don't know who the owner of this team is, so I can't give an individual shout-out, a blog link or anything like that. If you can reply in the comments, I'd be happy to do so if you just tell me who you are. But congrats to you whoever you are at this point on a job very well done. I have won these leagues in the past, and I know how hard it is to take the lead away from someone else mid-season, let alone to hold on to it for the last several weeks as everyone else is taking their shots. Well done.

Since I don't know who this is, I am assuming he is not one of the paid participants in the money pool for the league. If that is a poor assumption, the owner of the team will have to let me know in the comments or via email at sandlerm at gmail dot com. Otherwise, spots 2, 3 and 4 will be our three moneywinners for the 2006-2007 season. #2 and the first moneywinner will be JJ and his Cowboys R OK TOok Meh. And yes, I will release the funds to your pokerstars account despite you being a filthy despicable cowboys fan. Maybe if my Eagles hadn't swept your boys I might feel differently, but after the way your season came crashing to an end, you can probably use the pick-me-up of some cold hard cash to donk away at some $.25-.50 nlh cash table somewhere to a guy holding K6 sOOOted.

3rd place this year, and 2nd in the money pool, is Meanhappyguy, who actually had the second most overall total points, but third in "group points" which is what our scoring is based on in this league. Meanhappyguy also did a great job this year, moving up to the top few spots somewhere in the middle of the season, and then just churning out solid performance after solid performance to maintain his position and take down 3rd place overall in the pool. Well done.

4th place overall is Lobos, who does have a blog but I've been forbidden to link to it for some reason that I don't fully understand. The guy is a great writer, and he's also my brother in law, but I think he is somehow afraid that his blog will get out if people start linking to it, and I guess he says some things in there that he really doesn't want some other people in his life to see. OK, so I will respect his wishes (for now) and just say congratulations on a 4th place finish, Lobos's second consecutive top-few finish in this league, and I will be sending him his third place money just as soon as I ascertain for sure that No Name Scrubs is not in fact one of the moneypool guys.

Me, I ended in 14th place out of 36 players, putting in a forgettable performance after two straight years of top-2 finishes, and after winning outright last year. So I can't say I'm proud of my performance, but at the same time I did fairly ok overall. Much more important is this Saturday night's game which will pit my Eagles against the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of a game that the Saints were lucky to hold on to win in New Orleans in the middle of this season. Now, I know the Saints offense is formidable, but the Eagles' defense has really been stepping it up since Jeff Garcia took over the reins at quarterback, so I am expecting a stronger performance from my boys this weekend on the defensive side of the ball than what we saw in the first game when the Saints were up 14-0 about 15 seconds into the game, a deficit we were just barely not able to recover from in that one. And on offense, Garcia has completely re-energized a team that could have so easily packed it in the second that Donovan McNabb went down for his annual season-ending leg injury. And the Saints defense is total and complete crap. So, IMO this should be a high-scoring affair, and that over-under of 49 looks to me like it is likely to be surpassed in a game that ought to feature at least 3 touchdowns by each team. The 49 is not a terrible number, don't get me wrong, but I'm betting both teams score at least 25 points and we get a slight over in that game. And, I like the line of around 5 points for the Saints. I know the Eagles are on a huge tear, but I also know that the Saints are the better team overall, and they're at home which certainly helps things. I am expecting a game like 30-27 or something like that, so I think the over is a decent bet, and the line is one I would probably avoid entirely if I could. If I had to bet, I'm taking the Eagles and the points. We could win this game outright, and we could certainly lose by 5 or fewer points.

While I'm on the topic, let's look at the other 3 games' lines for this weekend. We've got Baltimore favored by 4 and an o/u of 41.5. I think this line is one I would stay away from, although I do expect the total points scored to be above 41.5 points. I've seen the Ravens defense totally donk it up on a couple of occasions this year, and although I'm not predicting 45 points for the Colts this week like they did against my Eagles in our last loss this season, I think both teams could easily score in the 20s, as the Colts offense is very difficult to stop, and the Colts defense will surely hardly be able to stop the Ravens at all. That over/under is too low in my opinion. Again, I like the line on the game of Ravens by 4, so I would avoid betting that one, but I like the over in this game just like I like the over with the Eagles/Saints.

On Sunday, the first game is Chicago at home favored by 9 over the Seahawks, with an over/under of 37. I like the Seahawks here, as I assume most rational people do, since the Bears kinda suck these days. I do think the Bears will win the game, but I don't see how you possibly give 9 points when the Bears have had as much trouble scoring as they have. I would definitely take the 'Hawks in that one. I don't have much to say about the over/under there, as 37 is a low number but I have my doubts as to how much either of these teams are really going to score on Sunday.

The last playoff game of the weekend pits the Patriots at the Chargers, with Smokkee's boys favored by 5 over the team that was won 3 superbowls this decade, and an o/u of 46.5. This is a tough one to call. I have to go with the Chargers, the best team in the NFL this year and they're playing at home, but I wouldn't exactly want to dump a ton of money on them to win the game by more than 5 points against a team like the Pats. I would probably avoid betting on this one entirely, although I do think the total points is likely to be over 46.5, but I don't feel very strongly about that.

So in all, here are my betting picks for this weekend's four playoff games:

I like Over 49 in the Saints/Eagles game.
I like Over 41.5 in the Ravens/Colts game.
I like the Seahawks +9 at the Bears on Sunday.

That's all I really feel strongly about for these four games.

OK that's all for now. I should be online at various times over the weekend, although I will probably skip Saturday night's Winner's Choice tournament at 9pm ET on full tilt since that tournament occurs at the same time as the Eagles will be opening up a can of whoopass on the Saints, and since I'm home alone with the Hammer Girls that night while the Hammer Wife goes to the ballet (gag gag), so I will have enough on my hands already to also be winning my way into the WSOP Main Event or some other 10k buyin tournament out there. Have a great weekend everybody, and congratulations again to this year's NFL Pick'em winners.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can just imagine how you could rip on that guy in the tourney. I was railing you once (silently) in an Omaha tourney you were in a little while ago and some guy was pissed at you for cracking some monster hand he had. The way you ripped back at him was quite funny.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I'd be a lot more afraid of the Eagles defense if Sheppard hadn't dislocated his elbow. That's a big loss for the Eagles. It's going to be a helluva game no matter what, though.

12:37 AM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

Your Pick'em league was a ton of fun. I remember sitting at the top spot around week 3, then tumbling down to 15th or so by week 12. I decided that the only way I could get back into the money would be to go crazy with underdogs--and go crazy I did!

I was amazed at how the top three spots weren't decided by the final week. We had some pretty big gambles on week 17, including the clincher for me: GB over Da' Bears. The last game of the season propelled me into the money!

I'm down for another round next year~

12:48 AM  
Blogger StB said...

Didn't you play the 4k HORSE last night?

I had a donk in a SnG yesterday that kept raising all in whenever I raised. I finally took the action first with AKo on him and he called with A6 and hit the 6.

Nothing you can do to escape them.

I am thinking the bEagles and the points is good too. Seahawks and 9.5 is gold!

1:26 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...


that is all

2:08 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

Thanks for hosting the pickem league, hoy.......

2:25 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

StB, I did play in the 4k HORSE tourney as well last night, yes. I got beat down on again and again by bad drawouts, and eventually went out fairly early. I've had some bad luck in the nightly HORSE tournament of late -- sounds funny for me to say since I cashed twice this week. But I think I mentioned this yesterday, I need to get better at accepting how many more drawouts there are in the non-holdem games.

2:48 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

"I can't stand it when a dickwad acts like an asshole, you embarrass him with your chat and then with your play, and yet the poker gods still send you home despite your obvious deservedness."

Are you channelling your inner Hellmuth today?

3:33 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

You may not know this about me, but I'm always channeling my inner Hellmuth. Hellmuth learned this shit from me.

3:50 AM  

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