Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wheaties Night, and One More Hand to Review

Well, call me a fonkey but I final tabled not one but both WWdN tournaments last night. In the "real" WWdN, I got off to a nice start, somehow lucking into winning I think 25 out of 25 pots from Columbo as every time I pushed he didn't have enough to call, and every time he seemed to have a big hand I had nothing much. I can only imagine Ray is not too happy with me this morning, but what can I do. To be honest I had jeciimd on the girly chat rooting me on through most of that since jec tells me that Columbo kinda has his (jec's) number, so you see in the end it all balances out. Next time I'm sure Columbo will eliminate me as he has done several times in the past, but last night I could do no wrong against him and that helped me get off to an early big stack in the Wheatie.

From there I basically coasted, eliminating a few more players along the way until the final table came after a few hours, with me nestled comfortably in the middle. I got a few cards for a change at the final table, and before I knew it we had made the money in the top 5 positions, with me up near the top of the leaderboard. After a big suckout helped me to eliminate 5th place, I found myself with a significant chip lead over the rest of the field before running into 3 setups and some bad luck which eventually ended my run in 4th place. First I was dealt Tens and called an allin pushmonkey from the short stack who flipped up KJs (hmmmm), but the King on the flop ended all speculation there. Then, I got 88 when another player had QQ and that was about a quarter of my remaining stack. Then maybe 10 minutes later I once again found 8s and called a pushmonkey allin raise preflop which turned out to be Aces, and IGH. Still it was a nice run and something I really enjoyed doing given how hard it is to navigate the donkfield in this tournament in particular.

And oh yeah -- to the WWdN participant who insisted on following me around on multiple tables and berating me in the chat for an hour after I sucked out on you, please recognize that you are barking up the wrong tree and just embarrassing yourself. I'm going to make three suggestions to you for better things to have done with that anger last night:

1. Go find Lee Jones whose server provided me the set on the turn that beat your pocket Aces, and spew your venomous bile at him for an hour instead. It's not like I chose the 2-outer to hit. Pokerstars took care of that. Getting all angry and worked up in the chat towards me just makes you look silly. To all of us. And it gives me an opportunity to agigtate the crap out of you in the chat while I'm still at the final table and you're on the rail, an oppotunity I have yet to pass up against a single angry railbird chatter in almost 2 years of online play.

2. Go find Euclid or Isaac Newton or whichever famous mathematician devised this whole "percentage" concept. Because your pocket Aces are an 80% favorite in that situation. And, while that means you will win 4 out of 5 such showdowns, that also means you're going to lose 1 out of 5. One time in five ain't nothing. It's not like you lost to a 1-outer on the river after getting the money in on the turn, something you could expect to win 99 times out of 100. You lost to a more than 2-outer before the flop, where I had five chances to hit one of my two cards, or to make a miracle straight or flush. 20% of the time you're losing that one. If you don't know what that means or are angry that one of your 20 times in a hundred came up last night, go find Dr. Math and beat him up in the chat. How dare he discover percentages that mean your Aces won't hold up every single time. Because of course you're the only guy who's ever had his Aces cracked, no doubt.

3. If you can't or won't do options 1 or 2 above, at least you should try to restrain yourself from publicly questioning my call in that situation. Because I can only assume you fear playing me once the flop is out, you pushmonkeyed me preflop with a stack that was less than mine, and I held pocket 9s. When your comments in the chat -- which everyone else can see, lest you forget -- indicate clearly that you don't realize that this is a perfectly acceptable call for me to make (not the "joke" you referred to my call as last night), you might want to at least consider what everyone else at the table and on the rail is thinking of your skills at this game that obviously riles you up so much. Generally speaking, I don't find myself doing or saying things that make me look like I have no clue about basic poker tournament strategy when I'm at the virtual tables. If saying things that gets everyone to think you're a tournodonkey floats your boat, then more power to ya. Nonetheless, after you're finished whining like an infant, calling a pushmonkey's allin with pocket 9s is still objectively a perfectly acceptable call. Greatest call ever? Maybe not. A fine call? Obviously. Recognize.

OK enough of that mini-rant (Double Dave, I think that's the best I can do for you today, hope that helps you out a bit on another boring work day). On to the WWdN 2nd Chance, which was PLO8. Despite my obvious terribleness at this game, star of stars I happened to final table that event as well yesterday (imagine that). I got there basically the exact same way I have final tabled all of my other pot-limit Omaha (high or hilo) tournaments where I have ever done this -- by hitting one or two big hands where I held the nuts on the flop or the turn, and controlling my betting such that someone else was willing to push hard with the 2nd or 3rd nuts. I've always thought that's the key to Omaha games -- not so much in limit, but in pot-limit where you can still take a bunch of chips from someone if you can take the action into the later betting rounds -- in my experience it's all about (1) not pushing too hard yourself with the 2nd or 3rd nuts, and (2) getting other people to push too hard with the 2nd or 3rd nuts. That's the way I've rolled in all of my successful PLO and PLO8 tournaments, and it worked for me again last night.

Worked, anyways, until I think 7 people left at the final table. That's when I took a flop for a small raise preflop with KK-something-something double-suited, and when the flop came K55 with two hearts, I knew I was set. Not only was there only one playable low card on that flop, significantly decreasing the chance of me having to split this pot with a low hand, but I had flopped the nut boat. When both of the other players bet and called on the flop, I knew I had at least one person in there with a 5 in their hand, and I was going to stack the crap out of them if they hopefully held an Ace as well, a good chance since they had called a raise preflop. On the turn (another low card, making a low draw possible now heading into the river) someone bet, I raised and not one but both players called, and I was smiling big at my pc. The river completed the runner-runner low, which sucked ballz for me but when all three of us players got allin for the amount of whoever had the smallest remaining stack, I was thrilled because I knew I would be splitting half the now huge pot with my nut boat.

Oops. Make that almost nut boat. Somebody had brilliantly called a preflop raise with 55xx in their hand -- definitely a WWdN-style play for an O8 game, no doubt -- and my flopped "nut" boat lost to flopped quads. Nothing like losing a flopped nut boat to flopped quads, is there? So that's what it took to get me out of the 2nd Chance Wheatie, but I have to say this was a whole lot more fun than I've had with the Tuesday night crowd in quite some time. Give me just a little bit of cards to work with, and even maybe a tenth of the luck that some of the other regulars out there seem to consistently get, and I guess I can run with the donkeys just a little bit. Good times. And congrats to Fishy McDonk for taking down the WWdN after a seesaw heads-up battle with A-arab-Zaraq or whatefer his name is. That one looked like it was over on a couple of different occasions once down to just the final two, but Fishy pulled it out after two nice comebacks from big chip deficits with his typical brand of solid, aggressive, stealy, hand-reading play that I always enjoy watching. If I knew who took down the PLO8 WWdN tourney I would report that here as well. But I don't, so I won't, but congrats to you too whoever you are.

OK now back briefly to yesterday's hand question, where if you recall I posed the situation where you're in the big blind with the big stack (300k) at the table, the final 2 tables of a large no-limit holdem mtt with just 12 players remaining, and it's folded around to the button who has 120k and raises your big blind up from 4000 to 15000. The small blind folds, and you have J2s. I asked what you would do here, and I think it's fair to say the answer was close to unanimous. Almost every one of the commenters I believe said they would fold. FWIW my two cents here is that I agree whole-heartedly. I'm on a big stack, so I would be willing to take some chances here, and my cards are sooooted, so all the more reason to be willing to do something. But, in this case, it's the 2 in my hand that leads me to just fold here and wait for a better spot. Well, I guess it's really the combination of the 2 and the Jack, in that if I held A2s I might be willing to take a chance and reraise. But when my high card is a Jack, and the button has already raised it up preflop, that means in my mind that my high card is very likely lower than the button's high card. And we know my 2 is lower than my opponent's kicker as well. So, this means that I am almost surely behind whatever my opponent is holding here, and the presence of the 2 in my hand means I am at absolute best a 40% dog, and possibly closer to 35%, and even possibly lower than that if the button actually picked up a hand here. Those of you who know me know that I am an aggressive nlh player by nature, but even I do not want to jeopardize any of my big stack here with such a weak holding that is almost impossible to be ahead of my opponent. I've never been one to go nuts with "any two cards" just because I'm on a big stack.

Now, I mentioned yesterday that I asked that particular question because a guy whose game all of us know and whom I at least have a lot of respect for recently analyzed this hand, and I found his analysis of the hand very interesting, and somewhat different from my own thoughts on the hand. Rather than say just yet who this was and what exactly his thoughts on the hand were, I would like to pose one more hand that was also analyzed by this same guy and get your thoughts on that one. Then tomorrow I will let the cat out of the bag as to this guy's views on both hands, and why I am bringing them up here.

So, here's the 2nd situation: You are about an hour in to a single-table sng. 9 players remain, with you sitting in the cutoff+1 (so in 6th of the 9 players, starting with UTG as player #1). Blinds are 50-100, and unfortunately for you you've taken some bad beats and you are down to just 50 chips remaining at this point in the tournament, by far the smallest stack left at the table (and just half the current big blind), with the next smallest stack being somewhere north of 700 chips. So, you're done. Toast. Nonetheless, you have your last 50 chips to play out and you want to find the smartest situation to play them in.

Player 1 (UTG) folds, Player 2 calls, Player 3 raises the 100 big blind to 350. Player 4 calls and Player 5 folds. Action is to you, and you look down to find 43s.

What do you do here? Is this a good spot to move in your last 50 chips? Here you are obviously behind whatever caused UTG+1 to limp, UTG+2 to raise 3.5x, and UTG+3 to call that raise. That said, however, with your stack size you are the true meaning of desperate. And, with 150 in blind money, plus the 50 chips from at least three other players already in the pot, you do have a chance to quintuple up here. And you've got a suited connector in your hand (admittedly a low one). Do you call for your last 50 chips, or fold here and wait for a better spot?

As I said, this hand was reviewed by the same guy who reviewed yesterday's hand, so I am interested in hearing what people think about this one as well. Then tomorrow I will cover what this respectable player had to say about both hands, once everyone has had a chance to comment on this second hand as well. And of course I will give my own thoughts as well (of course).

Tonight at 10pm ET is another Mookie (password is vegas1 as always) that I will probably miss to watch Lost with the Hammer Wife, but you should not miss it as the Mookie continues to be one of the best times every week with the bloggers at the virtual tables. I will try to play the 2nd chance Mookie tonight at 11:30pm ET if I can, since it is apparently PLO as chosen by Astin and PLO is one of "my" games. I think there might also be one of those juicy $69 buyin Bracelet Races on full tilt tonight, which I will also probably miss, but those $69 races are where it's at in my opinion -- the perfect balance of not too big a buyin to crush the roll, but big enough to net a 2k prize package winner for every 30 or so entrants so that you don't have to play down to and then completely win the final table just to win the big prize and go to the WSOP this summer. Hopefully I will be on at some point tonight and bump into some of you, if not in the bracelet race or the Mookie then at least in the Dookie tonight at 11:30pm ET on full tilt.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Achiel said...

One small note and then I'll make my analysis:
You have an SB and a BB already in, in addition to the EP caller, raiser and caller, so that'd make 5x50 that you can win (at least, not counting other people that might call), right?

That said, the alternative to calling here is waiting to see if you catch a hand in the next 5 handes (before you're blinded in), in which you could (at least) triple up from the BB + SB.

My choice here would probably be to call, because the chances that you're dominated are pretty much zilch, and even vs 2 overpairs you're a 20% dog, which still overcomes the odds you're getting (6-1 -> ~17%) vs 4 overcards you're even a 26% dog.

The fact that if you fold, catch a "real" hand and triple or quadruple up you're still only at 2 BB max also stimulates me to make this call, as having 3BB is just that more interesting.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I meant to say in the post that you can quintuple up (meaning win 5x my existing 50-chip stack). If I mis-stated that, my apologies, that is in fact what I meant.

12:07 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

I make the call.

You have 2 live suited connector cards and 5 hands before you have to be all in. There is also enough dead money in the pot that SB or BB or early limper could push to clear out competition.

Even a quintuple here forces you all in on BB or SB if you don't pick up more chips prior to BB.

12:37 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

any 2.....especially non-face cards.

12:41 AM  
Blogger FishyMcDonk said...

Hoy, thanks for the kind words. As for what to do with your 50 chips, calling is okay since you could quint and have 250, a good enough base from which to actually recover. (I did it from 80 chips a week ago so it can be done.) Folding and waiting for a better hand is okay too. I'd prefer an ace in my hand and nobody else besides the blinds in the pot. I probably would have folded and waited.

12:44 AM  
Blogger BurnleyMik said...

DOH!... sorry, I mis-read the hand yesterday. I thought everyone had folded round to SB who raised your BB, and had been seen previously stealing. Ok, I would too fold if he was raising from the button, even if I know it's a steal, simply because there will be a better spot and a better hand to tackle him with.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Consensus says call, and I say call as well. At such a low stack, if you happen to wait for a premium hand, you might get several callers too.

Being a favorite with AA against 5 callers who should check it down isn't that much better than being a slight underdog with 43s against 4 others.

Call and pray is the optimal play here.

P.S. If last week's Lost is a sign of things to come, then I think tonight should be a great one as well.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah Matt I was away during last week's Lost episode so I never blogged it, but I thought it was pretty good. Not great like the couple before that (not counting the shitfest with the effing car), but pretty good. I think they ought to give us a bit more real answers about why the Others keep wanting to get shot rather that deal with what's happening at the island, etc. instead of just always adding more and more questions. And I do think the flashbacks are getting a bit silly, as they appear to be just making up new ones every week to go along with whatever that week's story is on the show.

But I don't mean to be overly harsh. I thought last week was pretty good overall. Hopefully tonight is even better. You'll hear what I think tomorrow I'm sure.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

Auto call. ATC since you are probably steaming anyway from getting rivered on a previously (well played) hand... how else would you be a short stack already?



Lost Spoilers:

http://www.spoilerfix.com/lost.php

Don't read it if you don't want to know...

They don't give away a whole lot, but you can get some good stuff and make your own assumptions... like the fact that Jack and another character have the same dad...

2:37 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

If I knew who took down the PLO8 WWdN tourney I would report that here as well. But I don't, so I won't, but congrats to you too whoever you are.

Any doubts? I kid.

And that was a nasty cold decking you took. :(

3:00 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

OK Drizz, nice job. Didn't mean to slight you there, but after that top boat loss to quads, I wasn't much in the mood for sitting around to watch which of you donks got it done. Glad it was you though.

3:22 AM  
Blogger Detonator said...

Fold. Weak cards against too many hands.

11:46 AM  

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