Riverchasers Victory, and FTOPS #7
Sometime near the beginning of what turned out to be a very fun night of poker on Thursday night, I was savagely sucked out on at the river in a 2-4 cash game. In an $844 pot. That was awesome. The guy hit his three-outer King on the river after he called allin on the turn with KQ against my AQ on a Queen-high flop. That effing hurt, and it is my first major suckout loss at 2-4. I know that many, many more just like that and worse await me. But I got in ahead again, this time on the flop when I was about an 8-to-1 favorite, and I was that close to winning another buyin on the night. Instead it was my first significant 2-4 loss. They're gonna happen no matter what I do, so I think I'm supposed to actually like the way this one went down. I think.
That one ended up being just one in a string of interesting hands for me on Thursday night. I sat down just minutes before 9pm ET after I took on solo bed-putting duties for the two Hammer Girls since Hammer Wife was out meeting some friends for her twice-yearly night away from home. This took longer than expected (which actually should have been expected, with no mommy around), and only ever went down in the end thanks to my quick-on-my-feet thinking. See, Hammer Wife has taken to singing an alphabet song to our older daugher M -- giving a word that begins with that letter of the alphabet after she sings each letter -- right before bed each night, and even though she had already said goodnight to the girls several minutes earlier while I finished up book time, M still went crazy when I turned off the lights that she wanted her song from mommy. And of course no song daddy could ever sing would do. That is, until I thought of letting ole' M actually make the actual sounds that the words I was singing for each letter. Once M realized she could make the sound biting into an apple, a baby's crying and whining, meow like a cat and bark like a dog, etc., she was putty in my hands. Heh heh. That was just like that time that I duped that n00b into moving in on me when I flopped that boat. Ha ha.
Anyways the point of all this is that coming to that brilliant brainstorm with my daughters last night took longer than expected, and as a result I sat down to my pc just minutes before FTOPS #7 was set to go off. I wasn't necessarily planning on playing, but after winning a grand in FTOPS #6 on Wednesday night, and especially after seeing that this event would be pot-limit O8 and not pussy limit O8, I decided to jump in for cash.
I would soon wish I hadn't.
It's really simple what happened to me very early into FTOPS #7 in PLO8. I open-raised it up with this hand from the button maybe 40 minutes in to this tournament, which has got to be the right move given my hand and my position:
The small blind folded but the big blind called my pot-raise. The flop comes J83 rainbow and we check it to see a free turn card, with is another offsuit 3. My opponent bets half the pot at me:
I call, thinking my Aces could be best, and hoping nothing falls on the river to complete the low.
The river is a third 3, and my opponent again bets out small, 160 chips into a 600-chip pot:
My AA now looks very good here, behind only JJ, 88 or quad 3s, and he called my raise preflop so odds are low that he's got the case 3 in there. So I raise the pot, hoping for a call from another full house, and he reraises pot. I crying call and he shows me this:
Yep, quads 3s is the reward for the man who calls a pot-raise out of his big blind with T832. "But I had a flush draw!" he's probably thinking about his three to a suit in his hand. Ahole. And I was out a few minutes later with a fairly early exit from FTOPS #7. Another gross performance from me in the FTOPS, though I can't kill myself for losing this pot. I obviously should not have raised his river bet given that I had the fourth nuts, but I had played my Aces slow enough preflop, and then no low materialized in the end, that I felt I was ahead. Bad move, but I'll live.
Starting at the same time as the FTOPS at 9pm ET was the latest Riverchasers tournament on full tilt, also the last BBT event of the week, and I entered still seeking my first final table out of 15 events in the BBT. My performances in the BBT tourneys have been despicable so far in the challenge, but I had played well in this week's Mookie, making my first BBT points in that event of the year, and then I'd had that good run in FTOPS #6 also on Wednesday, so I was playing well and I hoped I could keep that momentum going at Riverchasers where I already recorded my best BBT finish of the year earlier in April. 71 players entered the RC tournament at 9pm ET, setting 36 as the number of players remaining where the BBT points would kick in and start to flow.
I thought I got effed hard early on in the tournament, where I consciously decided to start off by attacking the guys up near the top of the BBT standings whom I figured would have to play tighter than they would like in the earlygoing if they were not holding the nuts. In this spirit I found myself in this hand against Pirate Wes -- try to put him on a hand as I take you through the action.
Wes open raises the 50-chip blinds to 150 chips in middle position, and it folds around to me in the small blind, where I've got pocket Aces. I reraise to 460 chips, hoping for a call of course but perfectly fine with a fold. Wes smooth calls (yes, I must be dominating him here!), and we see the flop:
You betting here? Not at all a good flop for Aces, but I'll be damned if I'm going to just give up from up front in this spot in a blonkament. I mean, I can't really worry about the straight here, but JJ or 99 are the biggest things I'm fearing right now, with several other high-card combinations also a threat. Nonetheless, with no Kings or Queens out there and no fear that a guy like Wes called my big preflop raise with a hand like QT, I opted to commit myself fully with a large pot-sized bet. Fold, dammit!
Or, put me allin:
Grrrr, I just got hosed again with pocket Aces. I call that "pulling a Smokkee". But obviously I had to call off my last 40 chips. Want to guess what Wes is holding? Take your guesses and then scroll down to see how it went down.
Sheer ecstasy when I saw Wes's cards, and I realized that he was just as disgusted by that flop and my big flop bet as I was. And you know that feeling, where you feel like you've been given a second chance in a tournament and are determined not to waste it? That was me after running my Aces into Wes's Aces and living to tell the tale.
A few hands later, another big BBT guy in Drizz is moved to my right, and I'm facing the following preflop situation with a holding I kinda like, T7s:
I'm looking at calling 100 chips to win 375 in a well-camouflaged spot and with a hand with lots of possibilities, and I'm facing only a late-position open-raise and another late caller, so I decide to go for it and make the cheap call. Then I flop a big, big draw:
With this raggy flop I'm not too concerned about anyone else having hit it hard, so I check the action to lead off on the flop, fully expecting to check-raise strong any bets and probably take it down right there, or if not I know I have 9 flush outs and 6 more straight outs for 15 outs twice (and possibly three more tens as outs as well, and maybe even three more sevens too), making me the favorite in the hand if we get it allin on this flop. I get my wish when the third opponent bets 250 into the 475-chip pot, and I move it all in right then and there, basically wanting a call because I know I'm actually the favorite:
He calls pretty quick:
and whoops! Did I say I knew I was the favorite with 15 outs twice? Make that 13 outs twice, with any of three 7s, three Tens, three Jacks or three sixes giving me this pot. But some of those outs will get negated by an Ace or a Jack on the river, so I'm figuring myself to be a dog now with roughly 12 adjusted outs instead of a favorite with 15, and in the end I could not come back:
That sucked. I've mentioned it before, but I almost don't like flopping the huge oesd-and-flush-draw, because you almost feel obligated to raise big since you know you're ahead, and in the end you often get drawn into what is essentially a 50-50 race for all your chips when the other guy has flopped the top pair that you're supposed to be hoping he's flopped. So there I was, down to 475 chips in the first hour of another BBT event. Dammit.
I did not have to wait long with that short stack either. Within 10 minutes later I find myself still sitting on that short stack but in this situation:
With only one real option in this spot, I moved 'em all in for another measly 235 chips for each caller. I knew I was almost surely behind or racing, but I had a chance to quadruple up and that was where I wanted to be with a quarter of the average stack nearing the end of the first hour of a blonkament, right? But to my dismay, Wes reraised me allin from up top, and then I'm sure to Wes's dismay even more than mine, Smokkee re-reraised allin as well, and suddenly my Tens were looking like a steaming pile of cow dung. In the end, here's the beauty I had walked myself in to:
I mean, it's not enough that we have QQ and AA in the same hand? Now I have to wander in there with TT as well? Sheesh. On well, it's over, right?
BOOOoooooooooom!!! What a river card. So you see ryan, I can write about my big suckouts in mtt's. So this was my third life in this week's Riverchasers tournament, as I vaulted back up to 1785 chips and severely hit two skillful players's stacks in the process.
From there things moved pretty fast. I got some cards and played them well, stealing with abandon as is my usual practice as well. At the 100-minute mark of the tournament, our host, Al, playing from the bar and on the big screen for all to watch, open-pushed with an overbet from the button, and I found myself in the big blind with AK. I called for most of my chips, Al flipped up the JackAce, and my AK held up to double me up and send Al to the rail. Now I had my first big stack of the tournament, and in fact it was my first experience at more than double the starting stack in a blonkament in a good month. That's a streak you always look forward to ending.
I managed to ride that nice stack all the way to the final table about 40 minutes later at around 11:20pm ET, where I started in 5th place out of 9 players:
This would be my first BBT final table in any of the BBT tournaments this year, and with just one spot to go before the bubble burst, I was looking good to record my first BBT money cash as well. Unfortunately, disaster struck in the form of a small blind-big blind special on the very first hand of the final table, where I open-raised it with 22 from the small blind, and got reraised by Zeem, an aggressive player who knows my stealy ways, in the big blind. Knowing that Zeem knows I'm stealy as hell, in this spot in this position and in this tournament in particular, when he reraised me like so:
I foolishly put Zeem on a resteal here, even though deep down I know that's not the way Zeem plays with a chance of making the prize at the end of the rainbow so close now, and I moved allin, which Zeem instacalled with his dominating overpair:
So much for my first BBT cash, huh?
Now check that one out: the extremely rare, five-runner board to save a lower pocket pair allin preflop against a higher pocket pair. Them is some long odds right there, guys. But as I've highlighted repeatedly, for whatever reason the gods was looking out for me on Thursday night, and this put my official count now up to five lives in the latest Riverchasers tournament.
From there I was able to play tight, receiving just enough good hands as other players on smaller stacks dropped out along the way that I was able to chip up nicely and pick up some blinds and antes to go with it, resulting in me sitting in 2nd place behind Zeem with just four players left. I eventually took out #4, giving Zeem and myself the big stacks compared to the third place player, and after Zeem did not respond to our proposal to do some kind of 3-way chop while he had the chip lead, then I made this ballsy flop call against the third-place guy:
and then got rewarded for it on the turn:
And suddenly I was heads-up with Zeem with a 55k - 52k chip lead at Riverchasers!
And then, when faced with the daunting task of figuring out how to take me out from a slight chip deficit when I was on the lucky streak and playing well that I was, Zeem wised up and quickly asked if I wanted to chop. I immediately said yes, and we worked it out that the winner would transfer $47.92 to the loser to even out the 1st and 2nd place payouts at $189.92 apiece, and we would split the first-place BBT points award as well.
Here were the chip stacks just prior to the chop:
and here is the final leaderboard, where I came in 2nd officially after the pushfest with Zeem immediately following our decision to chop evenly:
and thank you to Zeem for the chop transfer within seconds of the tournament ending:
So there you go, my first Riverchasers tournament win, my first BBT win of the year, and even my first BBT cash of the year. Which is good since I donked so hard so early in FTOPS #7. Speaking of which, FTOPS Event #8 in pot-limit holdem is Friday night at 9pm ET, so that's where I'll be at 9pm tonight as I already qualified for this $216 buyin tournament last week as well. I will try to hit up Kat's Friday night donkament tonight as well if possible on full tilt (password is usually "donkarama" for this thing), and otherwise I may return to the $400 nl cash tables to seek revenge for last night's big suckout pot at the river.
And lastly, two big reminders for this coming weekend:
First is the FTOPS Main Event on Sunday at 6pm ET. I will be in this, and I know at least that this guy and this guy will be in too, and I'm sure there are others as well from our ghey little group. Come and look for us on Sunday evening as we each make our runs at the biggest guaranteed tournament full tilt has to offer, the $1.5 million guaranteed FTOPS ME tournament. It is a $535 buyin, but as I've mentioned here several times they are literally running satellite qualifiers to the ME more than once an hour all through the next three days, so if you have any free time at all this weekend, go and qualify for what will surely be the big story of the weekend (when I win).
And last but not least, I definitely plan to be in Sunday night's Big Game, which is at 9:30pm ET on Sunday night on full tilt (password is "donkey" as always). Last month's Big Game, which is also part of the BBT tournament schedule, drew 53 players even given its solid $75 buyin, with many of you doing the smart thing and satelling your way in to this event via the nightly $14 buyin token frenzy tournament on full tilt that pays out a $75 token to roughly the top 18% of finishers in this event that runs at 9:45pm ET every night of the week. You will most definitely find my ass in the token frenzy tournament every night between today and Sunday, but either way I will be ponying up the money to get in to the Big Game on Sunday night at 9:30pm ET as I look to extend my BBT tournament winning streak to two, and my BBT points streak to three consecutive BBT events, which for me is huge, believe me. Have a great weekend everyone, and come find me on Sunday for the run for the roses in the FTOPS Main Event!