Friday, February 02, 2007

Weekend Qualifiers, the Ultimate Calling Station and the Superbowl

OK so last night was Thursday, and that means hitting up my usual online poker routine as the weekend draws near. And that routine basically means trying some qualifiers for the Saturday night Winner's Choice tournament, and the Sunday night Horse 30k guaranteed tourney that I won on the first day of 2007. First, I started off with my usual 8:45pm ET $14 turbo satellite to the nightly 30k guaranteed that I final tabled last week. After a particularly struggle-filled run, I managed to win my seat again, finishing in the top 9 out of 77 players, for my 13th satellite victory into this tournament in the last 30 days. I was happy to see Buddydank in on this satellite as well, and even happier to see that he also won his seat to the 30k along with me. As will come as no surprise to most of you but obviously impressed Buddy per his comment here yesterday, I did raise big from MP right on the bubble of this satellite, taking down the pot and brazenly showing the hammer to the table, because that's just how I roll. As I told buddy in my comment last night, I play the hammer religiously, and I proudly say that I play it correctly as well. This means usually not calling raises with it, but almost always open-raising with it preflop if given the chance, and last night I saw my shot, even at the bubble of a multi-seat satellite, and, well, I wouldn't be the Hammerplayer if I didn't take advantage. So there.

While I was on my way to winning this satellite, I also fired up my other regular Thursday night tournaments -- the 10:15pm ET HORSE mtt on full tilt, as well as that 10:30pm ET WC satellite. I was feeling great about my play, better than I have been heading into my nightly session in several days, and the HORSE tourney started off well as I played tight but aggressive, winning a few limit holdem pots to get off to a top-10 start early on out of around 150 players in the night HORSE mtt. I knew things were going to go my way early on last night when this hand happened fairly early in the WC satellite:

I was on the button, and it was folded around to me so I just limped for 60 chips on a medium-sized stack with pocket 4s. To my left in the small blind is JackScorpio, a guy I've played with in this WC sat several times and whom I have noted as a notorious blind stealer, so when he went and raised it up 4x from the sb, I gave his raise very little respect. So little, in fact, that I did one of my favorite moves and reraised him allin right then and there, putting him to the test with what I was sure was not another pocket pair so I more or less knew I was ahead:

To my surprise and a bit of disappointment, Scorpio called me with his early big stack, and I'm thinking "fuck did I just run into another small blind special here?". But then the guy flips this, the fabulous preflop allin-calling hand itself:

FONKEY!!! Can you believe this chump, with a nice big stack early on in a tournament he loves to play in? What a fonkey. Anyways like I said I knew things were going to be good for me last night when this board fell, giving me trips right away and never really being a threat for once:

Man is it nice when the poker sites don't reward my opponents' fonkeyism, especially in extreme cases like this one here. I simply cannot imagine calling an allin reraise preflop with AJ early in a tournament where I've already fonked my way into a big stack and am sitting pretty near the top of the leaderboard in the earlygoing. What an ass. Anyways that was a nice omen for me near the beginning of my night, and about 10 minutes later my good run continued when I cashed in the 30k satellite and won my seat to that night's event.

My first real big hand in the HORSE mtt happened as well just a few minutes later, when I made a read on a guy a couple seats to my right who was showing an Ace in Stud high on third street, but whom I just didn't read for actually holding an Ace, so I started building a big pot early with a decent hidden hand of my own:

Fast forward a few cards later, where I have failed to improve my buried Jacks, but I just don't think this guy has made anything, so I've bet at him and he's called me on every street, until finally he calls me allin with this:

Another fonkey. Drawing to just an inside straight draw from 3rd street on and with me betting and raising from the very beginning. Feeee Fawwwwww! And this turned into an over 3300-chip pot for me fairly early on in the HORSE tournament.

My one really bad luck streak of the night happened just a short while later in the 30k guaranteed tournament itself that I had satellited into earlier in the evening, as I took my approximately 90% favorite TPTK against an underpair on the flop:

and managed to get beat by a runner-runner straight, Joe-Hachem-in-the-WSOP style:

Right around this time I also busted out of the WC satellite, having made the final table, when my A9 got called by the big blind who had woken up with AK, and IGH in 8th place, with just the top 4 winning seats to tomorrow' night's $216 buyin WC tournament. Oh well, maybe next Tuesday then....

Not two minutes later, this hand in the HORSE mtt:

went from about to put me in first place of 100 or so remaining players, to this:

also in Joe Hachem style, and then I started to tilt a little bit. OK, I went on crazy tilt, what can I say. A guy like me, those two runner-runner plays back to back along with the big blind special in the WC satellite is a bit much to handle. You guys know how I am.

And then, tilting like a madman, I entered the 12:30am ET HORSE satellite for the Sunday night HORSE 30k this weekend. This is a satellite that I have played and won many times before, and at $69 a pop, it is a great deal in that it basically offers a seat to the $216 buyin 30k event for every 3 or 4 entrants in the satellite. Last night was perfect, in that only 3 players were involved, with one of us three getting the seat, and my one opponent and I were very quickly able to relieve the third guy (fonkey entraordinaire) of all of his chips, taking it heads up. And this is where my accumulated tilt from events of earlier in the evening really started to come out.

Sometimes I just can't handle calling stations. Of course, these particular kind of fonkeys are some of my all-time most profitable opponents, probably in fact the single best type of player for me to be up against in general. I've made a fucking living playing against calling stations my entire poker life, including of course in online play where there seems to be a never ending supply of them. But of course, you only like playing with them when they aren't hitting every fucking thing in sight to continually steal pots away from you. Well, my heads-up opponent in this HORSE satellite last night was just that kind of luckyfonkey. His name was lloyd1961, and if you ever see him on full tilt, immediately note him as the calling station to top all calling stations. Let me show you what I mean.

Here he is early on in our heads-up play, calling my bet on 6th street in razz when I am ahead of him with just one card to come:

Then he calls my bet again on the river:

and with what?

a Jack-low. In razz. With me showing three cards to a ten. All I need is 2 of my three hidden cards to be below a 10 and he's lost. And I've been betting straight through since 5th street as it is. The guy could just not lay it down, and it was costing him early. So I was able to keep quiet at first, and Mr. Tilty stayed at bay. For the time being.

Here he is again calling me down at the river with a Ten-low in razz, with me showing three cards to an 8, and again betting since 5th street:

This guy simply could not find the fucking Fold button anywhere. And I was killing him.

Btw, right at this time is when I was eliminated from the HORSE mtt, logging another nice cash, but by this point my focus was solely on the fonkeycaller and on winning my seat to the Sunday night HORSE tournament.

So, back to the satellite, the action moved heads-up into stud high, and a really fucking annoying thing happened. This fonkey caller managed to get dealt buried Aces three times in just our one 6-minute round of stud high. Three times!!! And all three times they were buried too, so I could not possibly put him on any of those hands. And the problem was, when I make my two pairs on 6th street and all he's showing is a pair of 7s on 4th and 5th streets, I can't possibly lay that shit down once I know what a fucking calling station this guy is. So I lost the first hand to his buried Aces. Then I lost again on the very next hand to buried Aces. Then about 4 minutes later, another buried Aces hand from him takes down a nice pot. My huge chip lead was suddenly just a happy memory, and the extraordinary fonkey was about 2-to-1 ahead of me in chips.

And then I lost it in the chat.

It was fun, I admit it. I started berating him to FOLD every time I bet and made it clear that I had something. And he would not fucking listen. The bigger the hand I had, the more I would scream at him in the chat to fold. I would tell him exactly what I had. A few times I lied through my teeth, but he was just calling calling calling no matter what I said, so I stopped lying after a while since it wasn't deterring him from calling at all. For example, here he is calling with absolutely nothing on 5th street in stud hilo when he was already well ahead of me in chips and should have been protecting his lead:

Then you can see my chat to him here, as I bet out again on 7th street when I made two pairs that were higher than any cards he was showing on the board:

He went ahead and called that bet on the river again, despite me again clamoring for him to "FOLD!" in the chat:

Anybody curious what this fonkass called me with on the river there? Remember, all the cards are out so there's nothing more for him to hope to draw to. I'll let you make your guesses, and then scroll down to see the goods.

Exhibit A. Pure and total fonkey! This guy had fucking nothing -- no qualifying low, and just a Queen-high for high, and he still called me not only to the river, but at the river too! He simply could not lay down a hand. And this one hurt because it gave me back my chip lead that I so, so deserved from this fonkey. And I was determined to use his fonkey-calling nature not to let him have it back.

So a few hands later, we're back into limit holdem, and here I raise him on the flop with just my second pair, assuming I was ahead on this raggy board, and willing to take off a card or two even if I'm not:

Then here is me on the turn, betting again and begging the guy in the chat to fold a hand that I'm pretty sure I'm ahead of here, especially with the high-end oesd I've just picked up as well:

But nope. He just couldn't lay a fucking hand down. On the river, I spiked a huge set of 5s where I basically had to be ahead. So I bet out again, and check me out this time ordering the guy, screaming at him, to fold in the chat:

But no. He called again:

losing 1400 more chips to me. And what did he have this time to warrant all those calls (make your guesses now)?

Third pair on the flop. A pair of fucking fours! With a 9 fucking kicker. Cheesus Christopher I could not believe this fucking guy. He almost gives fonkey a new name. I've played with countless calling stations in my day, but this guy took the cake for sure. To think I had been way behind him just a few hands earlier too. Disgusting.

Here is me winning 600 more chips from him a few hands later in holdem:

You can again see me screaming at him to fold in the chat when I knew I was ahead. What did he call me down with this time?

Nothing at all!! He called my bet on the KJ2 flop with nothing. With T6o and no hit whatsoever on the board, no draw, nothing. Sick.

The very next hand, I finally hit my first big hand of the entire satellite when I flopped 2 pairs and checked it to him to encourage his calling station tendencies to keep him in the pot later in the hand where I would almost surely be ahead:

When he responded by betting at me, I instantly check-raised him:

But did he lay that down? Hah you know these kind of players better than that. I then checked the turn to him as well:

and then insta-checkraised him again on the turn card:

Now, when he didn't lay down to my second straight checkraise, I completely lost it on him in the chat. I knew I was ahead and I simply could not believe this guy's bravado. It was like he was just trying to bother me. Paying $75 of his own hard-earned cash on full tilt, just to piss me off. So when the river fell but before I bet out, I let him know my thoughts about his options (and his play) once again:

I bet out, he called me again, and I won another 2200-chip pot with my flopped two pairs:

Wanna guess what he had this time? Check it out.

So he bet out and then called my checkraise on the flop with nothing but Q7o and an inside straight draw. Then he called another checkraise with top pair shitty kicker on the turn. And then he called one last bet on the river as well, just to see himself be behind ever since the first time I checkraised him on the flop. Duh!

Mercifully, lloyd1961 called off the rest of his chips to me on the first hand of O8 here, when I bet every street after making top pair on the flop, and he of course stuck around despite obviously not having any playable low, nor any worthwhile high for an Omaha hand:

I never bothered to take the shot of what he was holding here, but since I won the low with just about the worst possible low hand on this board, you can imagine he didn't hold shiat. What else is new.

So, see you on Sunday night:

So overall, a really fun and funny night of poker, including lots of fun tilt and a nice opportunity to spew it out on someone who was really deserving of my full wrath in the chat box.

OK, real quick I want to change gears for a bit and talk briefly about this weekend's Superbowl. As many of you know, I went 2 of 3 against the spread in my picks in the first round of the NFL playoffs, and then in the Conference Championship picks I managed to go 3-for-4 against the spread as well. The line in this weekend's Superbowl has remained fairly constant at 7 points in favor of Indianapolis, with an over/under on total points scored of 49.5.

I think I've hinted at my thoughts already on this game earlier in the blog, but in general I have to say I think giving 7 points to either team in this game is basically insanity. While I acknowledge that the Colts certainly could win the game by more than a touchdown, I think it's far more likely that Peyton Manning and the Colts offense will have all they can handle from the swarming Bears defense. Yes the Bears' D was inconsistent in much of the second half of the season, but if you watched the Bears-Saints a couple weekends ago at all, then you saw what that team defense can do when they are clicking. And, if you've watched any number of Colts games this year, including the entire first half of the Colts-Patriots game a couple of weekends ago, then you've also seen how ordinary, and in fact how terrible, the Colts offense can look when facing a defense that is playing well. Now, I'm not trying to say that the Bears are going to blow anyone out, and lord knows the Bears' offense is not any good at all, but I just don't see how I could ever put money on either of these teams to win by more than 7 points.

So I have got to take the Bears plus 7 points here. To me, there is probably a 45-50% chance that the Bears win this game outright, plus another 15-20% or so that the Colts win by less than a touchdown. Those probabilities make this an easy pick for the Bears plus 7 IMO. And as far as that over/under, 49.5 points seems a bit on the high side for me. I do think the number is going to come in somewhere close to there, but with the penchant both of these teams have shown several times this year when facing tough opponents of just not being able to score the ball much, I just can't see putting money down that at least 50 total points will be scored in the game. I'm going to guess it will come in slightly under that total, and that maybe we're looking at something like a 20-17 game, or 24-21 game, something like that. If I had to pick straight up, I guess I might pick the Colts in a close one, but I really do think the Bears have an excellent chance of containing the Colts offense if they hurt those Colts receivers early and hit them hard at the line, and get some pressure on a very immobile quarterback in Peyton Manning. I don't think Rex Grossman is going to get a whole lot going against the Colts' defense either, but the Bears have a solid running game which I expect to come up with at least 100 yards, which will not only help the Bears to move the ball but also help to keep Peyton and Marvin and Reggie off the field and keep the score low.

So overall, my Superbowl spread picks are:

Bears plus 7 points
Under 49.5 total points.

As always, of course these picks are for entertainment purposes only ;)

OK that's it, hope you enjoyed my calling station stories and don't think I was too much of a dick in the chat. He deserved that, I assure you if you were there you would agree with me. Come check me out in the Sunday HORSE 30k guaranteed at 9:30pm ET if you're around, where I hope to make my second run to victory this year in this weekly multi-game tournament on full tilt.


Blogger BuddyDank said...

I donked out early in the 30k last night. I seem to have trouble adjusting from they type of play the qualifier ended with and the starting play of the main event.
Go Bears!

11:02 PM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

Go Colts!!!! I have a friend that can see into the future... Colts to cover...

11:48 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...


My favorite hand from the rail was the JJ against QT. Could not believe how offended DubbleUp1010 was by my "ewwwww" comment after his calling off all his chips after flop to runner runner you down.

I always lovew to see the "But I was ahead pre-flop defense?"

1:35 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah bayne. Not sure how that clown can call my 49% hand taking the lead on the flop a "suckout". But then again, he denied that my AQ was 49% against his JJ before the flop, so that goes to show you what kind of donk we were dealing with right there doesn't it?

1:45 AM  

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