Thursday, February 08, 2007

FTOPS, Lost and My Old Friends the Peep Tokens

OK well my only big news for today is this:

I will officially be playing in the FTOPS Main Event on Sunday, February 18. Yes I already won my satellite to this event earlier this week, and yes deep down I always knew I wasn't going to miss this event, even if it meant facing the ire of a very understanding wife and two adorable children. But it means so much more to know that Hammer Wife is down with the whole thing. I will always play better in any tournament, let alone a big one like this, knowing that my wife supports me in what I'm doing, and is hoping I do well instead of just hoping I bust early so I can help her out. How it happened that I secured this approval was actually much, much easier than I ever thought.

Let me say first a sincere thank you to all of the commenters to my last couple of posts where I solicited any and all ideas on how to present this to Hammer Wife to get where I needed to be with the FTOPS ME. Almost all of the suggestions were well thought-out, and most were helpful, at least to think about if not to actually put into practice. FWIW, I already share not half but all of my winnings (in poker, my job, and anything else) with Hammer Wife, so offering her half the winnings is an idea that sounds like a great compromise when you read it, but in reality just doesn't mean much in the context of the relationship and the understanding that she and I have. And as I mentioned in one of my earlier comments, not only do I already offer my wife spa days, days off, etc., but she happens to be sitting right now on not one but two unused spa gift certificates, and three "IOUs" that I gave her last year for days where I will watch the kids and she can do her own thing without explanation. So those ideas, while also generally excellent ones for this sort of a situation, in my particular context they're just not the thing that's going to get it done. Also, as I mentioned I think yesterday, Hammer Wife and I already have awesome Valentine's Day plans -- albeit on Monday instead of Wednesday next week -- so taking her out somewhere special and foncy isn't quite it either.

So how did I pull this off, you may be wondering? Actually, it was much easier than I would have thought. Turns out my brother in law (Hammer Wife's brother), whom you may recognize as "l.e.s.ter000" on pokerstars from the Hoy from time to time, actually reads the blog here on occasion, and when he saw this week that I had won the Main Event seat, he quickly and very graciously offered to come and run interference for me at my place on that Sunday night. Now, I don't know if those of you who have kids have had similar experiences, but with my kids, having Uncle come over for the bedtime ritual is not only an acceptable substitute for daddy on a given night, but it's more than preferable. Especially my older one, the Hammer Girls always go crazy for Grandma or Uncle or someone else like that to read them their bedtime books and do the whole tuck-in routine. So, armed with an able-bodied family member substitute in my absence, the discussion with Hammer Wife last night went something like this (I'm going to present this in Fuel-style hand history fashion, with explanations after each move made by the players, because I really love reading that format):

Hoyazo (sheepishly): "Uh...honey...I need to talk to you about something." (General introduction, plus I want to make this sound worse than it is, so when I actually hit her with the news it comes off to her as not so bad.)

Hammer Wife: "Ok, is there a problem?" (Typical concern. Already with that edge to her voice like she can already tell I fucked something up. So far the bluff is working perfectly.)

Hoy: "Well, yeah, maybe a little bit." (More trickery and overstatement. I am good what can I say.)

Wife: "What is it?" (Definite edge to her voice now. Now she knows I've done something bad. Foundation effectively laid.)

Hoy: "Uh remember that satellite I was playing the other night well it actually was for the Full Tilt Online Poker Series Main Event so I'd really like to play in that the thing is it's actually on next Sunday night at 6pm now I know what you're thinking but it's not like I want to do this every day or every weekend or soemthing plus I spoke with E and he is more than willing to come over and sit in for me with the kids while I play that night and then he can hang out with me during the tournament after theyre in bed the best part is the tournament is a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool so if I win first prize is at least 274 thousand dollars and change." (Notice what I did here. Once I start the explanation, I'm not taking even a half a second pause, not even the slightest breath, until I get the whole thing out -- what the tournament is, the dollar amount involved, and especially the fact that her bro will be here to help get everyone to sleep. So this way Hammer Wife has no time at all to consider the tournament without already knowing that her brother will sit in for me. I know how to get shit done in my family.)

Wife: "You already spoke with E? Did he volunteer or did you ask him?" (Just making sure I've already firmed this all up. God bless her. Also very clever, that's why I married her.)

Hoy: "Actually he saw it on the blog and he volunteered. What a great guy, huh? And the kids will love it!" (Dam I'm good. Gave her the answer she wanted, plus managed to compliment her family member as well as remind her how this may actually make that night easier for her than if I was helping out instead of her brother. See, this is why I'm a lawyer.)

Wife: "Alright, cool! For a minute there at first I thought you were going to say you wanted to play on Monday and cancel our Valentine's Day dinner. Good luck Hoy!" (OK ok Hammer Wife doesn't really call me "Hoy". But it really was this easy. Present the issue quickly and effectively, explain why the tournament is important to me and to us, and present her with an attractive option as a substitute for me, being careful to point out the advantages that may accrue from this offer even to her, let alone for me to be able to play in the biggest tournament of my life online. And you see how well my initial subterfuge worked, making the issue seem much worse than it was? Not that I've ever cancelled any plans we've had even one time in my life to play some silly poker tournament instead, but just by acting all sheepish at first, she's already thinking the worst. Dam I'm good, did I mention that already?.)

So that's that. So thank you to everyone for your comments and suggestions, but in the end the $10 goes to l.e.s.ter000, who told me he could spare me the bounty but I'm going to go ahead and transfer it to him on pokerstars anyways. He's earned this, big time. And a big thank you to you for this, E. If I win the first prize, I bet there's another 10-spot in it for you too, big guy. And I'll be seeing any of you who care to watch (or play, of course) in the FTOPS Main Event next Sunday night at 6pm ET, quite probably the largest online poker tournament I'll ever play in, thanks in no small part to the U.S. government, "Mr. Hypocritical" Bill Frist himself, and all the other goons in this country who think controlling what I do with my money on my own time from the privacy of my own home needs to be regulated in this way. Yes, Bill Frist, keep "protecting the children" and the gambling-addicted, while you maintain Harrah's Corporation in your top-ten biggest political contributors every year you twisted piece of shit. Wow, did I just say that last part out loud? Oh well, can't un-say it now.

So what else? Well, last night marked the return of Lost on ABC. As you may recall, I have never seen a live episode of this show before, having watched all of both seasons 2 or 3 months ago on dvd with the Hammer Wife, pouring through 3 or 4 episodes a night and unable to stop even for sleep on many days, so this was definitely something I was looking forward to quite a bit. And I have to say, after being a bit disappointed in the first six episodes of the third season (which I watched online at earlier this year), I thought last night was the best show of the season so far. Anything that gets us back closer to the original island is, to me, an improvement, and it looks like that's where at least two of the main characters are heading. What will become of Jack, who knows. I don't mind Jack being over there, but I just want the action to kinda get back to the island where it's been for the past couple of years, and I also enjoyed finally getting some back story on some of The Others. Still can't quite figure out exactly what kind of research Juliette was working on, but I get the point. There's always been something funkay going on with babies on the island anyways, so we all basically knew Dharma must have something to do with that. And you know what was really funny? As I've mentioned recently, Hammer Wife and I are also just now finishing up the first season of 24 on dvd, probably the only season we'll be watching of the show is my guess, and seeing Victor Drazen's son also playing the "bad guy" in Juliette's back story was pretty ironic, especially given that we had literally just turned off a 24 episode to turn on last night's new Lost. So in all, I'm giving Lost yesterday an A-. Very pleased overall, and super psyched that it's back live, and that we've now got 18 episodes in 18 weeks coming to us. It was a long time coming for sure.

So last night I also played in the Hammer Day poker tournament on full tilt, hosted by Mookie and Al. A whopping 158 players signed up to play, which always is a blast. It's great seeing almost every blogger I know come together for a historic, blogger-themed event like this, and it was kinda reminiscent of the old times, before all the weekly blogger private tournaments, when once a week or even less frequently, the whole group would come together to play one night and all get to hang out and catch up. Overall I still like the current system better, but there is certainly something cool about that whole big group coming together to play and drop hammers on each other like this.

Personally, I never had the hammer dealt to me last night. In fact, I didn't have shit for cards dealt to me all through the first hour-plus, seeing only 3 flops in the first hour and managing to just barely hang on to my starting stack of 1500 or so chips, thanks largely to my seeing a free flop from the big blind with 64o, and then flopping top 2 pairs, which I was able to check-call with all the way through the river for my only decent pot of the first hour. Long story short, I doubled up a couple of times in hour 2, as I finally got a good starting hand or two, and finally hit a few flops, and I played those few situations very well. Heading into the end of hour 2, however, I suffered a mean, vicious, nasty 3-outer river suckout at the hands of Patchmaster, who I believe is LOK1, when his AT bested my AK on the river after a board of AQ94T. Yes, I could have raised him harder earlier in the hand, but I was in the small blind and chose to just complete as the first one in the pot preflop, so I knew Patch had no clue how strong my hand was, and from his betting pattern right on the flop and onward, I was basically positive he had a weaker Ace. So I let him bet off most of his stack to my dominating hand, and then the river was unkind and basically crippled me, eventually sending me out in 33rd place. Brutal, but typical. And what a great time that tournament was to play in, so thanks again to Mookie and Al for a job well done as always.

Late in the evening yesterday, I played a couple of those old-school peep token sng's for the second straight day, after not having played a single one of these things for many months. Longtime readers here will remember that I was one of the earliest pushers of these 18-person, $8 buyin turbo sngs, where the top 5 finishers win a $26 Tier I token for use in many of full tilt's regular mtts. Well, things happen, I won a whole lot of money in tournaments, and before I knew it, several months ago I completely stopped playing these things. Cold turkey. I haven't even thought about these peep token sngs in ages. Well, two nights ago I was looking for something to play after suffering my latest suckout in the WWdN at the hands of Maigrey, and I found myself entering a peep token sng just for old-time's sake. And you know what I discovered, a feeling that was totally echoed again last night when I played a couple more of these things? After months and months of playing larger multi-seat satellite tournaments, with far more at stake, better quality of play, and a worse ratio of seats awarded : total players entered, the peep tokens are laughably, laughably easy. I mean, right now I feel like I could 5-table these things, and be basically guaranteed of winning at least 4 tokens. I'm sure that won't last -- mostly because I'm not really going to make a lot of time to keep focusing on these things -- but for a nice break they are a fun, quick and easy way to save yourself about $20 if you plan to buy in to the regular full tilt mtts anyways. Something to think about, as I am 3 for 4 in 4 token sngs over the past two nights, including a nice late-nighter yesterday with friends jeciimd and Smokkee in which all three of us reached the final 6, until a string of -- literally, I shit you not -- 7 or 8 consecutive suckouts in allin hands ended up leaving Smokkee as the ricockulous odd man out when his Q4 lost to his opponent's 64 on a board of 2335x. Unfugginbelievable.

Tonight I don't have any specific plans so I'm not sure what I'll be playing in. I think Hammer Wife and I will finish the first season of 24, and after that, I imagine I will hit the virtual felt and see what's up. It looks like full tilt may be running a brand new nightly mtt satellite into FTOPS Event #6, next Wednesday's O8 tournament that I was writing about last night, for a Tier 1 token ($26) buyin, so if that is in fact a regular occurrence, you can expect to find me in there if nothing else. Also, last Thursday I looked for CC's Bash on pokerstars but it was nowhere to be found, so I may take another look for that tonight if I am on at that time. Feel free to come find me and cheer me on wherever I'm at, or you can be a man and join that O8 FTOPS satellite with me tonight and we can match wits in the pussiest of all the major poker variations. Now is that an offer that can't be refused or what?

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Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I, too, am going to go back and hit up some Peep Tokens after not playing them for awhile. Should be some good times!

10:52 PM  
Blogger Raveen said...

hey hoy just wanted to say your the reason I took down the 9k guaranteed last night. Without all the info on how to play solid tourney poker my cash game donkey self would have never won it. Tx

11:20 PM  

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