Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Hot Streak Continues

I really cannot believe how hot I've been running lately. No, I'm not winning a hundy large, no I'm not winning 25 grand, and no I'm not winning about 5 tournaments a week like some people, but for me, this is about as good as I can play. Last night, I actually started the night by logging in eary and getting donked quickly out of a quick FTOPS satellite on full tilt (yes full tilt appears to be running yet another FTOPS, this time in mid-February) when my TPTK ran into two raggy pairs in an unraised pot (Doyle would be so disappointed in me). This put me in a pissy mood heading into the weekly Mondays at the Hoy tournament at 10pm ET, and I was wondering at the time whether I would be in the right frame of mind to continue my recent streak. I concentrated hard, and hoped to hit a big hand early in the Hoy, as well as the 25k which I also decided to play at 10pm ET. This, of course, in addition to my nightly run in the $26 buyin HORSE mtt at 10:15pm ET on full tilt, which I was already signed up for as well.

Luckily for me, I was able to play a couple of decent sized pots early in the Hoy, which drew 20 entrants in the first real tournament of 2007 and the first one where I will be keeping the weekly list of leading Hoy money winners for the year. These couple of early pots really helped calm me down, and I found myself near the top of the leaderboard in the earlygoing of that tournament, right around the same time as I doubled up in the 25k after flopping a set and duping someone with top pair weak kicker to push in on me (Oh how I love those first-hour donkeys in the 25k!). Off to a good start in both tournaments, I buckled down and played patiently, waiting for the right cards, relying on my reads of my opponents, and practicing my own brand of misinformation that only really happens when I'm playing at my best.

I eliminated my second player from the Hoy about 45 minutes into the event, which bumped me into first place with 14 players remaining from the 20 who started, and I'm proud to say I never looked back from there until the cash. That's right -- I remained in first place throughout the next hour or so, until we were down to just 3 players remaining -- myself, the ever-present final tabler Zeem and PhinCity, representing our three cashers for last night's event. Although the chip lead seesawed back and forth among the three of us for 15 minutes or so, eventually I was able to eliminate Phin when I made a second pair on the river which vaulted me ahead of Phin's higher kicker and same top pair that I held, and I entered heads-up play with Zeem with me at about a 2.5-to-1 chip advantage. Again things seesawed back and forth for a bit, but I played smart for a guy with a big chip advantage, and eventually Zeem pushed with third pair into my second pair on an innocuous-looking flop, and I was the champion:

So here is the first weekly list of the 2007 money leaders at Mondays at the Hoy, a new feature I will be tracking and posting here every week:

Hoyazo ... $200
Zeem ... $120
PhinCity ... $80

Tune in next week to see who adds to the list of money won at the Hoy during 2007. As I mentioned, I plan to have some kind of invitational-type of tournament later in the year to celebrate the biggest Hoy moneymakers, so come out next week and go for the gold in Mondays at the Hoy.

Anyways, meanwhile I also managed to score my 9th cash in the 25k in the last 5 weeks or so, as I limped into the third hour near the bottom of the 275 remaining players or so (216 cashed), but then managed not one but two double-ups early in round 3, one with pocket Kings against pocket 7s preflop, and the other with QJ on a Jack-high flop against a player with AK who simply could not lay it down despite missing the flop entirely. From there, it was off to the races, as the cash bubble came and went, and players started playing real loose again, which is where my bread and butter really is in these tournaments. I played my usual late-game strategy, still trying to be patient and wait for good hands, but ratcheting up the aggression increasingly much, including raising almost every time it was folded around to me preflop when I had any semblance of a playable hand. In the end, I got my stack up to over 80,000 chips, putting me briefly in the top 10 with under 40 players remaining in the tournament out of the 1585 who began some 4+ hours earlier, before running into this lost race:

Then, a few hands later, I abused some fish who somehow managed to last this deep in such a large tournament, getting him to move allin on me from middle position preflop with a very beatable hand that I was in fact ahead of:

but alas it was not meant to be last night, and IGH thanks to this flop:

God how I hate it when fish get rewarded for their fishiness. But again I can't complain about the overall result, with me out in 32nd place overall for a nice payout of 5 times my buyin for the tournament:

Also last night, I was able to final table the nightly HORSE mtt for the third time in two weeks, entering the final table in 6th place out of 8 players remaining:

where I first fell victim to this bad river card, where any Ace, 2, 3 or 6 would have won me half of the huge pot:

Then, on the very next hand, I am allin in this situation, one of the best possible setups I could be facing through 4th street in stud hilo, with the only clear low draw, plus an open end draw to a straight that's going to scoop a huge pot for me:

Only this time, it's a Jack-Jack-Queen on the last three cards that did me in, leaving me somehow with no low and no straight despite me having three chances to hit any one of an Ace, 2, 3 or 8 to be a virtual lock for half the pot:

I estimated my odds of taking down at least half this pot when I got allin on 4th street to be around 80-85%, but sometimes even that isn't enough, and this was one such time. So, I was out of the nightly HORSE tournament in 8th place overall:

for a small payday of about 4 times my buyin for this event. Again, though, it's really not about the money for me lately, so much as it is about the continued tournament success I am having of late.

One of these days I am hoping to write in some more detail about all the differences between when you're running badly like I have been for so much of last year, and when you're in the zone like I've been for the past couple of months. Again I look to tonight with much anticipation, as I have my 9pm ET Winner's Choice tournament on full tilt that I qualified for last Sunday night. This will be my next chance to meet perhaps my biggest goal for 2007 -- to play in a large-buyin live poker tournament some time during the year. Come by and cheer me on if you like, I wouldn't miss this thing for the world. I may try to get in on the WWdN at 8:30pm ET as well on pokerstars if I can, but I won't know about that until I see when the Hammer Girls are all in bed and asleep tonight. Hopefully I will run into you at some point this evening, maybe while I am basking in the glory of my 12k prize package from full tilt? Let's hope so!


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