Tuesday, April 17, 2007

MATH Recap, and More Full Tilt Satellites

Another huge turnout for the weekly Mondays at the Hoy tournament last night on Full Tilt, as 49 runners showed up in the battle for the $26 buyins, an especially big number given that this past Sunday was also Don's Big Game which typically tends to dampen Monday participation at the Hoy tournament. So with another prize pool of over $1200 we set out to play for the glory, the BBT points, and the 2007 MATH moneyboard dollars awarded to the top finishers in the event.

Although I lasted for longer than I have been in these blogger tournaments of late, in the end I ran into a serious megacooler and got bounced out most unceremoniously in I think 32nd place, falling short of the BBT points once again thanks to some questionable play and some unfrigginbelievable bad luck to boot. We're about 80 minutes in to the MATH tournament, I'm sitting in the top 15 in chips, and I am dealt pocket Tens in late position. I apologize for getting the hand history wrong on this when I wrote this up late on Monday night, no bad intentions there. Following is the corrected hand history: I'm in the cutoff and I find pocket Tens. Smokkee limps in UTG with what turned out to be AJ. Limping with AJ. Under the gun. Not as bad as calling an allin with it (which Smokkee surely would have), but still a -EV play made by the king up there, being that if you're going to play a hand like AJ from up front, you basically have to raise with it or you never get to find out where you're at. This is exactly what happened to Smokkee here, as he ended up being up against Bayne's AK in middle position as well as my pocket Tens around back, which is a great lesson in why you want to be raising up front with AJ (if you play it at all). But, frankly I have got to congratulate Smokkee for playing his AJ in any hand in which I am involved. Seriously now. If you're up against someone like me, having the run in blogger tournaments that I have been experiencing recently, and you are faced with the chance to make a poor play with a hand that always seems to beat me, then you can't fault anyone for taking the chance. So what if the math says this is a -EV play over time. This isn't over time. This is right now, and right now I am losing to dudes playing AJ like it's my job. So Smokkee could not resist the bait and limped with AJ UTG, once again from behind as is almost always the case when you get any kind of action with AJ (make no mistake).

To make things worse for Smokkee, the flop comes AAT. I have him dead to three outs, and what's worse for him, he has just flopped trips with a decent kicker. And those of you who know Smokkee's play know that he hasn't folded a hand since early in the Carter administration. Smokkee checks his obvious Ace, and Bayne leads out with a bet of a little less than the size of the pot. I go for the smooth call because I know Smokkee is playing an Ace (I had no idea what Bayne had, but obviously I wasn't concerned given my flopped boat) and there's obviously literally a zero percent chance that Smokkee's going to fold flopped trips no matter what I bet, so I want to keep Bayne in there to try to get more money from both of them with my flopped monstrosity. The turn comes a Jack, Smokkee checks it again, and Bayne bets out big. I obviously call, and that's when Smokkee goes allin over the top of me. And from the way things have been going recently I basically know he has AJ. I knew it as surely as I know Smokkee would limp UTG with AJ and that he wouldn't fold the trips on the flop even if his life depended on it. But obviously I'm not folding my flopped boat on the total guess that he has exactly AJ. I call for most of my remaining chips, and up Smokkee flips the JackAce. Well played? How about "well lucked" and we'll leave it at that. So that's what it took to knock me out of the Hoy last night -- a dubious preflop play by an opponent, me flopping a boat to really punish him for the bad call, and then the turn making a higher boat for my donkponent once I was already committed. Truly. Fucking. Gross. But oh so typical of late for me in the blogger tournaments. What can you do. And just to top things off, on the very next hand I am dealt A6o in middle position, and I push in the rest of my 600 chips, when the action folds around to Smokkee in the little blind. He mulls it over and calls, flipping up K5o for his 38% dog or so, in what I know was an attempt at (1) some charity to me because he felt bad about that recockulous beat, and (2) winning the $10 bounty I had placed on myself for last night's MATH tournament to anyone who eliminates me from the event by donkeycalling my allin preflop with their low Ace, King or Queen, which is exactly what Smokkee showed. The 5 on the turn did me in, I paid the man his well-earned bounty, and that was it for me on the day.

Amazingly, shocker of shockers after that UTG limp with the JackAce, Smokkee somehow did not manage to last to the money or even the final table at the MATH, but a bunch of really good players did. In the end, cashing in the tournament (top 6 finishers) were:

dbirider, who is graciously providing the Nintendo gear to the BBT on behalf of pokeronamac in 6th place for $70.56
scurvydog in 5th place for $94.08 after his AK < A7 at the final table
InstantTragedy in 4th place for $129.36
Tripjax in 3rd place for 176.40
Chad in 2nd place for 258.72
Iggy in 1st place for 446.88

That's right folks, the angry dwarf himself took down first prize in this week's MATH tournament, as the final four players fought it out valiantly and for quite some time before Iggy finally started to amass a nice chip lead with well-timed bluffs and some big flops at the right time. By the time the fourth hour of the tournament began, Iggy had more than a 2 to 1 chip lead over second place, and from then the others were not able to recover as Iggy played the final table long and strong (whatever that means), taking down his second career Hoy title and getting his name on to the 2007 MATH leaderboard for the first time in the process.

OK so here is the updated 2007 Hoy money leaderboard as of this week's tournament:

1. Hoyazo $580
2. Fuel55 $458
3. Iggy $447
4. Bayne_s $410
5. Chad $379
6. Zeem $330
7. Miami Don $312
7. cmitch $312
7. oossuuu754 $312
10. VinNay $310
11. Wigginx $288
12. IslandBum1 $282
12. ScottMc $282
12. Pirate Wes $282
15. Manik79 $252
16. Byron $234
17. Omega_man_99 $210
18. Columbo $204
19. NewinNov $190
20. Waffles $180
20. bartonfa $180
22. Tripjax $176
23. Santa Clauss $170
24. Iakaris $162
24. Smokkee $162
26. l.e.s.ter000 $147
27. lightning36 $137
28. InstantTragedy $129
29. Ganton516 $114
30. Scurvydog $94
31. Shag0103 $84
32. PhinCity $80
33. jeciimd $80
34. dbirider $71
35. Easycure $67
36. Julius Goat $60

How I am still on top of that list is truly beyond me. With the way I'm running in the blogger tournaments of late, it is only a matter of time -- probably just one more week, given the huge size of the MATH tournament since the move to full tilt and the advent of the BBT -- until I am officially dethroned for good. Which is a shame, but let's be honest. When guys are donkey calling me on the flop and then hitting a 3-outer on the river to eliminate me, and when my flopped full houses can't even hold on to win with half of the field gone, then it's just not my time to shine in this thing. Kudos to whoever steps up and takes the mantle from me for only the second time during 2007. And kudos as well to both Buddydank and jeciimd, both of whom pissed this guy off by extending their unbeaten streak of making the points in all 7 of the 7 BBT tournaments so far. Now that right there is impressive consistency. Shit, I would be satisfied with two pointings so far, but both of those guys are 7-for-7. Wow.

OK on to some new satellites I wanted to discuss today on full tilt. First, I actually played in the 750k guaranteed tournament this past Sunday evening on full tilt, and when I logged in maybe an hour before the tournament started I was surprised to see a system announcement at the table I was at for a "super turbo satellite" sng to the 750k running for the half hour that starts one full hour before the beginning of the 750k at 6pm ET. Not knowing what this super turbo sat is, I of course went to investigate. Enquiring minds want to know, after all. What I found was a 1-table, 9-person sng, with a $118 buyin, where the top two finishers receive seats to the $535 buyin 750k tournament, and the rest of the finishers get nada. What was especially interesting about these satellite sngs, though, was not the buyin or the size. It's the structure. Basically, the blinds escalate in these things I think every two minutes. And as if that's not crazy enough already, the starting stack size for these tournaments? 100 chips. No that is not a typo. They start you off with 100 chips and 2-minute blind rounds, and the 9 of you just go at it until only two remain. Luckily, and I do mean luckily because there is maybe 10% skill involved and about 90% luck, I found A9 on the very first hand, got a caller and an Ace on the flop, and doubled up. From there it could not have lasted more than 15 minutes all told, before I had taken the entire sng down and was playing in the 750k for the first time in my life. In that tournament btw, I agreed to a mutual 5% swap with fellow blogger and great poker player SurlyPokerGnome, and he and I struggled through 2 or 3 hours of this tournament, both of us managing to get above the 5000-chip starting stacks at various points in the tournament (he more than I, sadly), but in the end we both busted out in the middle of the third hour after long runs of not enough good cards and good flops to withstand the increasing blinds and antes. I had fun while it lasted and made a good run with what I was dealt, but it was not meant to be on that night. Nonetheless, I loved that crazy 100-chip "super turbo" satellite structure, and given the $118 price tag for a 2/9 chance of winning your way in, I think it's a solid deal and something that I would probably try to make use of again if I ever plan to get make another run at that 750k (not likely, due to the timing).

Lastly, the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) is back again, scheduled to run the usual 10 events from Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 20. The FTOPS IV schedule is as follows:

Friday, May 11: $216 NLH, 300k guarantee @ 9pm ET
Saturday, May 12: $109 PLO Rebuy, 150k guarantee @ 4:30pm ET
Sunday, May 13: $322 NLH, 750k guarantee @ 6pm ET
Monday, May 14: $1060 NLH, 300k guarantee @ 9pm ET
Tuesday, May 15: $216 HOSE, 100k guarantee @ 9pm ET
Wednesday, May 16: $216 NLH 6-max, 400k guarantee @ 9pm ET
Thursday, May 17: $216 O8, 100k guarantee @ 9pm ET
Friday, May 18: $216 PLH, 150k guarantee @ 9pm ET
Saturday, May 19: $109 NLH Rebuy, 150k guarantee @ 4:30pm ET
Sunday, May 20: $535 NLH Main Event, $1.5 million guarantee @ 6pm ET

What I like especially about this time of year with respect to the FTOPS is that as of last night, full tilt has started up once again with the nightly FTOPS mtt satellites, which as you know if you read here often are really my bread n butter as far as the online poker I've been playing this year. After a couple months of focusing primarily on the WSOP Bracelet Races, the FTOPS IV satellites will likely be my new focal point as I try to fight my way in to as many of the events as I can play in. As usual, the weekend events will be no-nos for me, but I may again make an exception for the Main Event just so I can have another chance to play in a large tournament like that, but otherwise I will probably plan to get in on all of the weeknight events, provided I am able to satellite my way in to them. To that end last night I played the 10:45pm ET $26 buyin satellite to FTOPS Event #1, fighting my way all the way up to 12 players remaining (6 won seats) before donking my entire 6th place stack at the time off to the chip leader, who inexplicably called off half of his entire stack over three separate bets with just big slick and no hit on the board whatsoever. Naturally he made his Ace on the river to best my lower pair, and I was out in 12th place, falling short in my first FTOPS satellite attempt after what I guess was a bad play by me (?), but don't worry I'll be back in these satellites early and often over the next several weeks.

OK tonight is the Wheatie once again at 8:30pm ET on pokerstars (password is "monkey" as always). In a striking move, I really think I need a couple of days away from the blogger tournaments after what I have been through with these things of late, so I will most likely not play in the WWdN tonight as I strive to regain my focus after more than a month's worth of bad play and even badder beats in these things, but you should definitely head out for the WWdN and the 2nd chance WWdN, usually at 10:30pm ET, for a fun time of donking with the stars. Until next time, everyone get started with those FTOPS satellites!

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Blogger Joe said...

QQ vs 77, runner-runner straight...

11:08 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

hey donkey,

u limped with TT preflop. there was no raise before the flop in that hand. there's no way i fold AJsooted to u ever. pure gold.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Blinders said...


You prolly should post the actual hand history. These things in general turn into a pissing contest over the details of who raised, and if they were sooted or not...

You will not get rid of AJs preflop, and obv. not AKs if you do not raise with your TT preflop. In this case I am sure they both call a raise anyway. If you have a good Ace and the flop comes AAx in an MTT, you are going to go to war. This is not donkey. No donks on this hand, other than I question the limp with TT preflop. You are dead to a A,K, or J in this situation if you don't hit your T. You do not want to have a multiway unrasised pot with TT. It sucks you flopped the boat, and lost but those are the breaks.

11:45 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...


I already posted the hand history on my blog.

I think we can all agree I was the biggest donkey in the hand. You gave me too much credit for folding though.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah that was a bad beat fo sho man, that sucked. I never feel good getting the benefit of a play like that, but after what I've been through in these blonkaments of late, if you are looking for sympathy I fear you have come to the wrong place.

Nice playing with you though. Hopefully next time I'll have you beat fair and square instead of needing to rely on my one lucky break of the last month in the blonkaments.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

My mistake on the hand history, I never read them as they are without a doubt the most boring thing on the earth. I'm going to go and fix the post now.

And Blinders, this is not a cash game. Raising with the TT there after two or three limps already in ahead of me is donkey. Realizing that would be a good first step to transitioning from pure cash game play to skilled tournament play. Guess that's just a skill you have yet to learn?

11:57 PM  
Blogger lucko said...

Bloggers are sooooo weak tight!!!! AKs, AJs and TT and no preflop raise???? Someone grow a set and raise that fucker up!

Sick hand though. No way I don't get all my money in with any one of those hands on that board.

12:18 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...


Maybe I see ghosts in the shadows because I play more Omaha than Hold'em. If it was Omaha I check turn and unless I am holding K and Q with my Ace I probably fold.

I like my flop bet as I can reasonably think I am ahead.

My turn bet annoys me because I bet quickly and realized before the cards came up that one of you had to have TT for 3 people to see turn.

I don't think either of you are calling with gut shot or pocket JJ, QQ or KK on that flop.

If you raise pre-flop I push, don't know if Smokkee sticks around or not.

12:41 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I again ask the question.. If you can limp to the losing spot is it an impressive win? I umm don't think so.. If you played poker that way Hoyazo then you would NEVER win a big game.. except if you got all aces and kings at the end. It just does not work.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey, great blog. Its been keeping me fully entertained while i try to stave off work-induced coma. I was interested in buying a link on your page, could you let me know if you are interested?

1:41 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Waffs, obviously I don't play poker that way, I much prefer to get donkeysucked by AJ and JT players long before the money. But you aren't really saying that there is nothing impressive about making the points in 7 out of 7 BBT tournaments, are you? Surely even you must give some amount of credit for that, no?

2:00 AM  
Blogger BuddyDank said...

Thanks for the kudos. I was hungry.

2:21 AM  
Blogger DrawFlush said...

Everyone get in the token frenzy tonight!

5:55 AM  
Blogger Joe Speaker said...


Your comment on my Pissed Off pos was flagged as spam and when I de-listed it as such, I lost it. Pissed me off again, 'cause I wanted to respond, so I'll do it here.

I completely agree with you on two counts. 1. We all play less than optimal from time to time, due to lack of focus or whatever. I've done it, too. But never on purpose. 2. His play could absolutely be seen as simple donkish-ness. Anyone who's played on Full Tilt knows Ace-rag is gold, even to a re-raise.

Where I feel confident in my read, however, is what happened AFTER he busted me. At that point, he was second in chips with 21 left, a stack roughtly 16K. He was out of the tournament in five hands. He played each at least to the flop, regardless of action. On his last, he pushed over a raise and push with K7o (and if he'd hit his king, I GUARANTEE you mine would not have been the only bitch post. Ask Trip). He had previously stated he "wanted to go to bed." Taken as a whole, I'm certain he was trying to bust.

Naturally, it is he I hold solely responsible and hope you didn't feel like I was casting bad light on you or your tournament, which I will continue to play whenever time allows. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

2:28 AM  

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