Friday, April 20, 2007

Bloggers in the WSOP, Playing Tight at the RC, and Still More New Full Tilt Satellites

First and foremost today, everyone head over to new blogger oossuuu754's blog and congratulate him on winning his WSOP Main Event seat in Thursday night's 1k WSOP ME qualifier! Oossuuu fought through a toughass field of 74 of the strongest players full tilt has to offer, including an interminable (and intolerable) bubble period to nab his main event seat in what I believe was his first online attempt to do so (after three or four failed super-satellites). So go by and congratulate the man and let him know how cool that is. In a lot of ways, IMO bloggers playing at the World Series of Poker is what it's all about, so from my heart I say congratulations to you, oossuuu754, and for at least one day I won't even mention how many times I've seen you suck out on people in just the last few BBT tournaments. Deal? Deal. Way ta fuckin' go, man.

Congratulations also to Waffles and Smokkee, two guys I like to give a lot of shit to because I know they can take it, for going 1-2 and playing very well along the way in Thursday night's Riverchasers tournament. It was fun watching these two lucksacks push their way to the final table, and eventually outlasting fellow blogger Lifesagrind to go heads-up with Waffles after Waffles had amassed a nice stack a few hands earlier thanks to catching pocket Kings against Grind's Pocket 3s shortly before Smokkee eliminated Grind once and for all. In the end, Waffles withstood the relentless no-foldem brand of poker that we've all come to know and love from Smokkee, with the final hand being an allin by both players with neither of them holding a pair or a card higher than a 9, and Waffles I believe eked out the win with his 8-high over Smokkee's 9-high to end the match and give Waffles his first BBT win, and his second big blogger tournament victory over the past few weeks following up on his MATH takedown earlier this year. So way to go Waffles as well, it seems you truly have found your way in these things and we all look forward to busting you repeatedly in next week's BBT tournaments.

As for me, I followed through perfectly on my threat regarding my own play in the Riverchasers tournament on Thursday. First of all, I hardly chatted at all, which for whatever reason did seem not to tilt me nearly as hard as usual, although that is probably partly attributable to how much fun I was having watching a very drunk Al absolutely rip to shreds the play of a fellow riverchaser who earlier in the event made a big preflop call with pocket 5s, much to Al's disdain. Not chatting did not come easily to me last night, and it required me to basically ignore a number of greetings and commentary from fellow bloggers, but to you all it was nothing personal. Just business. Anyways, that seemed to help, as did my other threat of playing tightassed poker to the point of just limping and folding into the BBT points. I folded my small blind and gave the big blind a walk three times. That's probably the first three times I've done that at any poker table in the past 18 months. I passed on numerous KQo hands with no one yet in the pot and me in middle position. I also passed on opening with hands like A9s in middle-late position on numerous occasions. I was determined to see if I could in fact limp in the points as I have observed others doing in the recent past. And you know what I found? I could.

You wanna see how tight i played at the Riverchasers event on Thursday night? You got it:

Those were my stats when I was finally eliminated from the tournament in 11th place. 6% of flops. 6%! Those of you who play with me often will note how insanely painful this must have been for me last night to play so pussyish. Believe me, it hurt. I nearly blew a gasket 6 or 7 times while attempting to fold to the points. But then the best part was, as soon as we reached the BBT points at #42, I managed to pick up AA, KK and AK (my only three premium hands of the entire night, mind you) all within the next half hour, chipping up nicely on two of them after getting some chips in following a friendly flop for my hand (everyone folded to my Aces though, naturally). I was then able to ride these chip-ups for quite a while, helped by some of the relentless stealing that has always been in my nature and which has only been made worse (better) by my constant play at 6-max mtts and cash games of late. Eventually, down to 10th place out of 11 players remaining, I reraised Julius Goat allin preflop with my pocket 5s, he called my relatively small raise with his big stack and flipped up A9, and an Ace on the flop did me in.

As an aside, as soon as this hand happened, you could see the players and observers readying themselves in the chat for another infamous Hoy rant today about that play. Let me make something perfectly clear for everyone. Despite what some of the butthead bloggers out there think they know but don't actually know about playing poker tournaments, if I rant about the way someone played a hand, that's because they played it wrong. Period. And if someone played a hand perfectly acceptably, then I simply will not be ranting about it the next day. Also period. That's it. So of course Goat had to call me for another 2400 chips out of his 12,000 chip stack with A9s at that point in the tournament. I was the shorty, I coulda been pushing with anything, and at basically 3-to-1 pot odds at that point and sitting on a big stack, for him to fold A9s there would have been recockulous. So you don't even need to wonder if I'm going to rant about that hand. If it was a reasonable, correct play then I won't ever rant about it. And if it was laughable bullshit, you'll probably hear about it here. That's it. So don't believe the hype when you read other people saying I was wrong when I've ranted about a particular hand. Au contraire mes freres, if I'm ranting about it, then the play was bullshit. Be it limping UTG with AJo, calling a preflop raise with JT or 54 or you name it, if I'm here complaining about it then that's only because of one thing: it was donkey. And I've never yet complained about a single play here on the blog that was not actually a bad play by an opponent -- despite what you may hear to the contrary -- and I'll be the first to admit it if that ever changes. But I'm not here to claim plays were bad when they weren't even just because I'm pissed. You guys should know me well enough by now to know, in that situation I'll just say I'm pissed. Pissed about how the full tilt server rewarded someone else, pissed about how I couldn't win a race as a slight favorite in a key spot such as was the case last night with the hand with Goat, or just generally pissed about the way things turned out in a particular hand or particular game. But I have never ranted, and don't ever plan to rant, on the blog here about a hand where my opponent made the right poker play. I'm just not interested in that. And this also reminds me btw, I should give some special thanks to Blinders and Smokkee for re-energizing me to play in the Riverchasers event in what ended up being my best score yet in any BBT event, thanks to their commentary late yesterday on Blinders' blog about the hand where Smokkee fucking luckdonkeysacked knocked me out of the MATH this past Monday. This week Blinders has had a couple of very thoughtful and thought-provoking posts up about that hand from earlier this week, and I do hope he continues posting on his blog about hands I rant about here on the blog, because there really was some good analysis there which I think has to be helpful for everyone as far as different ways to think about playing the same hands on different streets.

Ok real quick here I just wanted to mention that, as an mtt satellite guy, last night I was really almost overwhelemed by all the brand-spanking-new-yesterday mtt sats all over the place on Thursday evening on full tilt. In addition to the normal 30k satellites and other special sats like the 30k, Winner's Choice, Moscow Millions, etc., full tilt was running a whole slew of brand new FTOPS satellites last night, including a 10:30pm ET "FTOPS Avatar Race" that apparently replaces the satellite of the same name that I won this past February that placed me automatically into FTOPS Events 1, 5 and 8 all at once. This round of FTOPS will apparently have an "Avatar Race" with a $216 buyin like last night's 10:30pm ET tournament, and will award to the winners a $1500 prize package consisting of buyins to a full five of the 10 FTOPS events, which offhand I believe included events #1, 3, 5, 8 as well as the FTOPS Main Event, all slated to run between May 11 and May 20 on full tilt. This Avatar Race is something I plan to play in on at least a few occasions, as I saw at least five satellites to that $216 buyin Avatar race running between 7:30pm and 8:40pm ET last night, ranging from a $10 buyin to a $14 buyin, a $26 buyin, and even a $40 buyin for the last satellite of the night. I didn't really give any of these a good shot last night as I signed up for the wrong tournament early on and then missed the $40 buyin sat because I was too busy getting donkeyed out of my usual $8 rebuy satellite into the 30k guaranteed and lost track of the time. I guess it remains to be seen yet if these Avatar Races will be a nightly thing or no, but by the end of the weekend that should be abundantly clear so I'll be back on Monday to report on that. In any event, last night I did sink some more money into FTOPS satellites, with as yet no results to speak of, but I expect my efforts to place in to these large-buyin FTOPS events to step up in force starting next week as I get the feel for which of these nightly satellites make the most sense in light of the satellite selection criteria I wrote about yesterday.

OK before I sign off for the weekend, I wanted to discuss briefly my plans for hitting up Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker this summer. Basically, I have now won two WSOP bracelet races on full tilt, each awarding $2000 prize money, which leaves me with a few interesting options as far as the WSOP this summer. The WPBT gathering is slated for the weekend of June 8-10, and I definitely plan to be there during that weekend as I look to hang with the bloggers for my second real live WPBT event, and my first time hanging live with the group since last summer's WPBT weekend.

So, looking at that weekend, and in light of me now having won $4000 of WSOP buyins, here is what I'm thinking. Thursday June 7 at noon Vegas time is the $1500 6-max nlh WSOP event #12. As you know if you read here with any regularity, I fuckin love 6-max. And I play it a whole lot. Just about every night in the 30k guaranteed 6-max tournament on full tilt. And in the associated satellites to that 30k guaranteed. And more recently on the cash tables too, either $.50-1 or lately $1-2 as well. It's a game with which I am intimately familiar, and imtimately comfortable. And I really enjoy playing it as well. So that is definitely an attractive option for me, especially now having won a second bracelet race on full tilt for a second $2000 WSOP buyin.

I also really like the idea of playing in WSOP event #15, straight-up no-limit holdem at a $1500 buyin. Not only is this normal nlh, probably my best overall poker game, and the game at which I won both of my WSOP bracelet races this year, but I believe this will be the event that the biggest number of bloggers out there for the WPBT gathering will be playing in for the weekend. Event #15 goes down at noon on Saturday, June 9. Of course, if I play in the 6-max event on Thursday the 7th, and I manage to final table that biatch, then I won't be able to also participate in Event #15 as well. But that, my friends, is a problem I'd love to have. So if I opt to go with Events #13 and 15, then I am fully comfortable with that being my plan, and of course if I do final table the first tournament that I will be more than happy to miss out on Event #15.

Now, a couple of other options are also open to me now that I have won my second bracelet race, that were not really considerations for me when I won my first bracelet race in late March. First of all, there is this $5000 pot-limit holdem event, WSOP Event # 13, that goes off at noon on Friday the 8th. Now, while the timing of that event is perfect, in that I really need to be out of Vegas by Sunday morning and would therefore have to change my plans if I make it to Day 2 of Event #15 on Saturday, there are three factors cutting against my playing in this tournament. #1 is pure superstition, not that #13 is a bad number per se, but rather that Event #13 is the WSOP event I played in last year, a $2500 nlh tournament, where I got bad beat out of the thing less than two hours in by then current reigning world champion Joe Hachem when he sucked out a redonkulous, recockulous runner-runner flush on me after putting me allin with his pair of 4s aganist my pair of 6s. That shiat still stings btw. So anyways, from a purely superstitious perspective, playing in Event #13 is not exactly what I want to do. Also weighing against me playing the plh event is the price tag, which at $5000 is not only more than I want to spend on the WSOP (unless I win another bracelet race of course, which is highly unlikely as I don't plan to focus on these much anymore now that I've won my two already), but also means that it will likely attract a higher caliber of player, all things being equal. And that also leads to the third issue with playing the $5000 plh WSOP tournament, which is that, as pot-limit holdem, that game is IMO really much more of a pure skill game than no-limit, which allows donkeys and pushmonkeys to push allin at any time and really cut down on the better players' advantage in skill than a game like plh which requires you to see some flops, some turns and even some rivers while still keeping a decent number of chips behind. All of these factors come together to make my playing in Friday's $5000 plh tournament not too likely.

The last thing that has been suggested to me and that I do think would be really fun is to play in WSOP Event #16, the $2500 buyin HORSE event, which starts on Saturday, June 9 at 5pm Vegas time. This one carries a higher buyin, but frankly I have won $4000 in WSOP buyins already, so I could easily play Thursday's 6-max nlh tournament as well as Saturday night's $2500 HORSE event and pay for both of those buyins with my WSOP bracelet race winnings. So money there is not an object. The question is, would I really rather play $2500 limit HORSE or $1500 nlh, with the latter probably having more of my blogger friends in it as well? As I've written about here, limit poker in general tends to frustrate me, and HORSE can often be the worst of all because there seem to be enough players who are sufficiently non-skilled in enough of the HORSE games that they always seem to be staying around to make redonkulous draws and eventually to redonkulously suck out on their unsuspecting victims. Do I really want to subject myself to that on a $2500 buyin, World Series of Poker scale? Others have suggested, however, that the limit HORSE event is actually likely to have less donkeypoker, and fewer suckouts generally speaking, than any low-buyin (by WSOP standards) nlh event at the World Series. They may be right. Ultimately I'd like to play the thing that will be the most fun for me, and that will give me the most chance for success. What do you all think that means I should play?

Hey everyone don't forget this coming Sunday night is the latest WPBT event, hosted by Columbo. The game is Limit holdem (ooooh my favorite!), and the details are as follows:

Tournament: WPBT 07 event #4
Where: Full Tilt Poker
When: Sunday, April 22nd, 9pm ET
Game: Limit Hold'em
Buyin: $24+2 or token
Password: wpbt72

The WPBT has been a major focus of mine ever since the tournament series was started early in 2006, so even though this is girly limit holdem, it's definitely something to check out and the ideal way to show your blogger mates and matesses your all-around poker skill. Otherwise, I will probably be around this weekend in the evenings as always, trying to formulate the best plan for qualifying for the FTOPS through this whole new group of evening satellites and super-satellites into the big events. Have a great weekend everyone, and don't forget to play the WPBT on Sunday night!

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Blogger oossuuu754 said...

Hoy thanks again for all the railing last night. But you have to mention me sucking out, afterall that is what I do. Fonkey Pressure Poker. Prime example was me Cracking the bubble boy AA with my 1010.


9:39 PM  
Blogger cmitch said...

A word of caution on the FTOPS Avatar package that enters you into several of the Events. One of the events that you win entry to is FTOPS #3 which is on Mother's Day.

My wife would kill me if I played in a poker tourney and she had to watch the kids on Mother's Day.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Wow cmitch that is some good investigative reporting right there. WTF is wrong with Full tilt anyways? Last FTOPS was Valentine's Day, and at least one of the previous FTOPS events as well also went down over a major holiday like Mothers or Fathers Day. Wtf full tilt, wtf??

10:12 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I'd say go for the 6-max and $1500 NLHE tournaments. You're already talking about how you're unsure about the HORSE and the non-folders, so why subject yourself to the possiblity of dealing with that at all?

11:07 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

thanks man! I hope that I am getting a more donkified view of MTTs and improving..

12:03 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

The $5000PL event was all pros and me last year. Very tough field but entertaining. I was card dead the whole time.

12:53 AM  
Blogger WindBreak247 said...

I don't care what else you play, but I think you *have* to play the 6-max event. That's your bread and butter, and I think that you'd be leaving your best chance on the table if you didn't participate in that event.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Craig Cunningham said...

You might want to consider using a portion of your bankroll for satellites when you're there. They have a reputation of being very soft.

With the starting stack sizes doubled this year, the $1.5k events should give more play than last year (I played in the $2k and wasn't too comfortable as the blinds seemed to jump up pretty quickly). If I had $4k and didn't want to play a satellite, I'd actually play the $1.5k 6-handed (for you) and either the $2k NLHE (6 June) or the $2.5k HORSE (9 June). Playing all low buy-in I wouldn't do myself due to lol donkaments, but you can play with any of them!

10:48 PM  

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