Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bubble Night, and the Student Becomes the Teacher

Last night was a somewhat frustrating, bubbly night of poker for me, although on the whole I ended positive on the night, thanks once again to another juicy-ass blogger cash table where it seems I can do nothing but win. For some strange reason. Heh heh. But I'll get to that.

After a quick workout and some dinner on Wednesday night, I sat down just in time for the Mookie to start at 10pm ET. The big news was that we cracked the 80 player mark in the Mookie for the first time ever, thanks in no small part to the constant pimpage from Al, as 82 runners came to try their hand in the biggest of the weekly blogger gatherings, as well as the 5th-to-last BBT tournament left on the schedule. I was once again pleased to see a number of people who are near the 20 events played and/or the top 50 on the leaderboard showing up to play, making their attempt to play their way in to the upcoming BBT freeroll at the end of July, so that was all good. I was also very psyched to have Buddydank radio going throughout my entire run in the Mook and Dook, and I have to say that overall that thing just gets better and better with every show. Even if Waffles was a bit of a letdown as far as a guest DJ goes. I guess he maybe got a little better as his appearance wore on, and if Waffles only DJ'd like he blogs the thing woulda been much better, but I don't know, maybe he has radio fright or something. But I am definitely looking forward to some more guest DJ blood in there in coming weeks and I am confident that within a few tries we can find some guys from our crew who would really liven things up on what I still say is the coolest thing to hit the poker blogiverse since...well...whatever the last coolest thing was to hit the poker blogiverse. I fuckin love it.

Oh yeah before I forget, better-late-than-never congratulations are in order to Fuel55, whom I will write some more about later in this post, for winning his way in to the WSOP Main Event earlier this week. I knew about this but kept forgetting to blog it, so there you have it. That is two ME seats won in two years for Mr. Presto, and we can't wait to see how he does in the biggest donkeyfest this side of the nightly 26k on full tilt, or better yet that $11 Rebuy Madness tournament nightly on pokerstars.

Congrats are also in order for MiamiDon, who ran all the way to day two and his first final table in the Venetian $540 deep stack mtt, which is impressive not only on its own merits but also because the structure of this event basically turned the entire last several hours into just push-and-pray territory. I've been there, and running deep in an event like that is incredibly draining -- exciting too, no doubt, but it requires a lot of savvy and a ton of mettle to make it that far, including requiring you to make a whole lot of correct decisions in a sea of quetsions all along the way. So wtg Don, who ended the tournament in 9th place out of 536 players, taking down nearly 3 grand for his efforts for what I believe is far and away his largest-ever mtt score. Check back at Don's site later on for a detailed writeup of what this run was like.

OK now that the congratulations to the real winners are out of the way, back to this week's Mookie tournament. I started off playing appropriately tight, building my stack slowly from the 1500 starting level to just under 2000 at the first break, and I was once again very pleased to see a departure from the kind of tightydonkiness that we've seen I think way too much of in these BBT tournaments over the past several weeks, with something like 33 players being eliminated during the first hour of the event. I didn't win or lose any big hands in there, and basically showing and winning with 3 Hammers was the highlight of my tournament to that point (really, all the way through to tell the sad truth). In fact, I don't really have a whole lot to say about the whole tournament last night, other than that I managed to squeak into first place for the first time with 14 players remaining, but then setup coolers on consecutive hands basically crippled me, ending with me out in 10th place and smack on the bubble despite playing a solid, controlled game throughout. That said, much like my Mookie cash from last week (my first cash of the year, remember), I can also admit that I didn't really belong there last night. Although Buddy went far, far overboard with how lucky I got last night during his broadcast, I did hit a 35% straight on the turn to stay alive with around 25 players left, and then again with like 20 players remaining I pushed allin on a preflop reraise with AKs, and cooleringly ran smack into Fishy McDonk's AA, followed by my weekly suckout elimination of Mookie when my AQ beat his AK. Fishy sat for a few seconds too long, even taking the time to type "hmmmmmm" into the chat before slow rolling my ass with his bullets, and for once the pokeranuses dished out the proper reward for such a play, sending me a King on the flop and another on the turn to give me my second suckout of the night. So nearing the late stages of the event I had two massive suckouts to even be alive until the final two tables, so I can't really complain about bubbling and I'm not going to, even though some of the stuff I saw in this event was (typically) really unbelievable.

What was so unbelievable, you might ask? I'll tell you. Basically one thing I really noticed was how spot-on some of my statements from last Friday's post were about some of the top BBT guys in this event. First off, let's get this out of the way: Bayne won another fucking BBT tournament after beating cmitch from a 4.5-to-1 chip deficit in heads-up play to take the Mookie down. But I have got to get this off my chest -- and Bayne hopefully knows that I love him -- but goddammit Bayne was such a calling station last night that it exceeded even the wildest exaggerations of the statements I made about him in my post from last week. I mean, I could not believe what I saw Bayne call with last night. Let's just say this, I sat with Bayne for maybe a total of one hour through various stages of the Mookie last night during my run to a 10th place finish out of 82 players, and in just that one hour, I personally saw Bayne call allin raises before the flop with 55, 99, KJ, A9 and KQ. Now, arguably not one of those hands should have been called with, and certainly all five of those during just one hour of play, it's enough to really frustrate. And then to think that he went on to final table his 11th BBT tournament, basically a full one-third of the total events now that he has reached the final table in, and eventually to win the entire thing, after playing like that, it almost brings tears to my eyes. But you know what, as bloggers we deserve to be being dominated by a guy who makes plays like this. It's fitting I think. And oh yeah, way to go Bayne, you rock. Hah.

Also along the lines of my post from the other day, I didn't get to play at all with Iggy on the night for a change, but I did manage to open his table just in time to see some clown donkeyspew him their entire stack on a recockulous bluff. Why do you people keep forcing your chips down Iggy's throat? I just don't get it. Here I am winning about half of the pots I won last night by playing the Hammer for a raise or a reraise, and meanwhile donkeys are fucking begging Iggy to take their entire stacks. Begging him! Is it because he's a dwarf? Because if it is, let me tell you I know Iggy, and he does not want any special treatment just because of his height-challenged status. So don't let that be the reason anymore. Doesn't he do well enough in these tournaments already as it is, without you fewls spewing chips at him like it's your job? Please.

And I think my favorite thing from yesterday given what I had written about last week was Astin, whom I had the fortune of sitting with at my starting table, where I got to watch the worst hand he received in the entire first orbit be A6o. That was the worst starting hand he saw in the first 10 hands of the Mookie last night. Sick, that luckbox. Again, I probably didn't play with Astin for more than 45 minutes or so the entire night -- while he was on his way to a very impressive 4th-place finish to further solidify his own dominating top-ten BBT performance btw -- but in just the 45 minutes or so that we sat together, I personally saw him play and show AA, AA, KK, KK and KK. All in just 45 minutes. Who knows how many other monster hands this luckbox got in the entirety of the tournament. Obviously he did what he had to do with them and like I said, you can't argue with the guy who has consistently beat up on the rest of us clowns in BBT play this year, but dammit it is annoying seeing the same guys get more than their share of premium starting hands, and hitting more than their share of flops hard, week in and week out, while you're struggling just to win small pots with the Hammer, and losing even when you flop trips, straights and similar hands. Fuck, what can you do.

Anyways, I ended up bubbling the Mookie in 10th place when the top 9 paid out when I made a good allin push from the button but just ran into a setup against a better hand, and I also ended up getting nailed by two recockulous suckouts against Lucko to bust out of the Dookie in 4th place, also the money bubble (but hey this was O8 so I suppose I can't really complain since I don't know how to play that game, right?). So I'm left feeling like I played really great poker in the Mook n Dook last night, but with precisely nothing to show for it. Fun times.

What was really fun as always was the $200 nl ring cash game that we set up sometime during the Mookie with a bunch of bloggers. Although I started off losing around half a buyin, mostly because someone donked Fuel a bunch of chips and then Fuel just started betting and raising with nothing every single hand. I mean, I guess when you are used to losing $5000 or $10,000 a night playing like a donkey, what is losing $200 or $500 to a bunch of bloggers going to mean to you? You probably hardly even realize that money is gone, when you're making regular daily deposits of 10k just to fund your online cash game play, right? So once somebody staked this guy to a big stack early, Fuel just called with ATC on almost every hand, and then he just bet, bet and bet some more, throwing in some raises for good measure, and since the money means more to the rest of us than it does to him at this level, he got most of us to fold all night long. But this also helped me to set up the hand of the night, which I'm going to describe here, in which I actually got to use Fuel's own move -- the massive overbet for value -- against him. Hence the second part of the title of today's post.

Basically, Fuel had been pushing me and everyone else at the table around big-time once he had amassed around $500 at our $200 max-buyin table. As I mentioned, he bet with nothing on every single street and there was nothing we could do about it but fold unless we had big hands, which as you know simply doesn't happen that often. Finally at one point I find 33 in the small blind, and am able to limp in to see a cheap flop, which Fuel in the big blind just calls as well. The flop comes T63 with two clubs, giving me my only flopped set of the night. Now, despite the hideous luck I've had with flopped sets over the past week or so in online cash play, I'm still not going to change the way I play these things, which normally means I bet out with my flopped sets. But not here. In this case, I had shown no strength before the flop, and neither had Fuel by just checking his option from the big blind. Given that, I figured that even the slightest bet was likely to be folded by Fuel since he probably had nothing. And, I figured if I got lucky and he happened to have a Ten with some raggy kicker, a loose-calling maniac at this table like Fuel would likely pay me off, moreso on later streets if I showed weakness by checking now. So you know what I did? I insta-checked this flop. Like, I had shit and didn't feel like bothering with even trying to act like I might have something here:

Fuel surprised me just a tiny bit by insta-checking back, and I mean insta as in he checked it back to me right fucking away, like he had already clicked the "autofold" button on his side. This made me glad I hadn't bet out with my flopset there on this particular flop.

The turn card then brought a really beautiful card, the 10♠. This not only gave me a totally hidden full house, but it also paired the top card on the board, so in case Fuel had been slowplaying top pair there (I was a bit surprised he hadn't bet the flop after I checked, given how recklessly aggro he had been playing at this table for the past hour or so), he now had trips. And the turn also put a second spade on the board, creating two flush draws as well, both of which I already had beat even if they filled on the river. I figured my best chance at this point of making anything at all with this hand was to check it again, so I insta-checked as soon as this turn card fell, again giving the impression that I didn't have squat, and wasn't happy about the turn card being what it was:

Fuel instantly checked it back to me again. At this point I had to put the guy on some kind of a hand here, which was great for me since I was sitting on the near-nuts with my unknowable boat. As I said, Fuel had been playing like an aggro maniac for the last hour or more, ever since obtaining his bigass stack at this table, and for him to check both the flop and the turn here, and to do so instantly, I had to figure he had some piece of this board. Which was great for me. So, when the river card came down a harmless-looking 2, I considered my options:

If Fuel actually did have nothing, which I highly doubted given the action so far, then if I checked here he was going to check back and I was going to win a whole $3.80 with my flopped set and turned full house. Bad outcome. Similarly, if he has nothing and I bet, he's going to fold, again leading me only to win the $3.80 in the pot. Basically, if Fuel's got nothing then it doesn't matter one bit whether I bet or how much I bet, I'm not winning anything on this strong hand in that case.

If Fuel actually has something, it would have to be trip Tens or he was not likely to call much of a bet from me. I mean, the full pot at this point was less than $4, so how much could I reasonably expect him to call from me if he has a hand like, say, pocket 4s or pocket 5s? $4 (the full pot)? $8 (twice the current pot, an overbet for the river by any standards)? What about a $20 bet? I determined I think correctly that Fuel would not call anything that would resemble a large bet from me unless he had trip Tens (or better). I mean, both flush draws did not materialize on the turn or river, so he couldn't have a flush. I knew I didn't want to only make $4 or $8 with my very strong hand, and I figured there was a very small chance of me making anything substantial with the hand at this point no matter what I did given the action so far. So, taking everything into account, I took some advice I read most recently in Sklansk'y No-Limit Holdem: Theory and Practice book, and I opted to bet the pot as if Fuel might happen to have something strong.

Again, the thinking here is very simple. If he's got nothing, I'm not making jack shit more than $3.80 on this hand, no matter what I do. And if he's got something small, I don't really care about winning another $4 on the hand by betting more than the current pot and getting him to call with a crappy low pocket pair, King-high or something like that. But, with two Tens on the board, I figured there was some chance that he could have hit trip Tens. And if that was the case, given the insta-checking I had done all throughout this hand so far, and given Fuel's incredibly loose play at the table of late, I actually thought he would be likely to call just about any bet I could possibly make on the river on the thinking that his top trips had to be the best hand, and that I was likely just trying to make a move. So, taking all of this into account, I decided to make the move that looked the most donkeyish of anything I could think of, and I did this:

That's right. The massive overbet for value, Fuel's own move, with me sliding $201.50 into the middle to bet the river at a $3.80 pot. I figured the odds here are about 99.5% that he folds of course, but that again if he happened to have a Ten in his hand, he was going to call and I was going to double up. And, since him having a Ten in his hand was my only chance of making a big profit on this hand anyways, why not bet on the assumption that he does have the Ten and try to maximize my profit then? Thank you, David Sklansky.

I was shocked to see Fuel call my recockulous allin overbet at the river. And not just call -- insta-call. I flipped up my cards, Fuel mucked, and the $404 pot came my way:

And well, it turns out I was wrong about Fuel having to have a Ten in his hand in order to make this call too. Check out what he did have:

Dam. Now if that ain't a cooler, I don't know what is. He hit his straight on the river, and probably assumed I was either stealing the pot with a huge donkey overbet, or more likely that I actually was myself slow-playing top pair all along and had made trips, which his rivered straight was going to beat. I noticed the possibility of the straight at the river, but to be perfectly honest I never even really considered that possibility, although it did also fit the way he had played the hand so far perfectly, including explaining why Fuel would not have aggrobet at this flop or the turn like he had in so many other similar situations where his opponents had shown some weakness during the hand.

I do think it is a fun and interesting hand though -- mostly because I was on the winning end of it for a change -- and I think it illustrates an important and actually useful concept in no-limit holdem that as I mentioned David Sklansky also covers in his own book. Sometimes when you have very little chance of winning any kind of worthwhile money with a strong hand, it makes sense to assume your opponent has one of the one or two strong hands that actually could pay you off against your holding, and make your bet according to that assumption. As I mentioned above, your odds of getting paid off on such a large bet are going to be very, very low. But part of the premise here is that your odds of getting paid on the hand are already low, so you're really not giving up as much as you might think by making a move like this in this particular situation. Yes, maybe I gave up the chance that Fuel would pay off a $4 or $6 bet if he had middle pair or King-high or something like that. But I wasn't really interested in that amount. I assumed he could have a monster -- just not quite the monster that I had -- and that he would pay off any size bet if he did. And even though my specific read was wrong, my general read that he actually had something going in his hand was right-on, and I made more than a full buyin from the biggest stack at the table with the play.

Pocket 3s are gold baybeeee!

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Blogger StB said...

You may be a little hard on bayne there. I may call with the pocket 5s or 9s depending on who pushed and the position I am in.

11:23 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

The A9 case it was against Mookie who had 1500 chips into a 1000 pot where I was SB at 250 and I wanted a new Banner.

The 99, Numbers Game in chat and in action said "I have AK".

Spent some time looking through hand histories from 4 of my tables and couldn't find me calling an all-in with 55, KJ or KQ, did call you with JJ (against your A9) did win a limped pot with KQ suited.

Will have to take your impeccable word that I was a calling station on 55, KJ & KQ and assume there is a file from a table I forgot to capture.

11:42 PM  
Blogger lj said...

A9 is gold, and everyone should call or raise with that all the time.

i saw you show the full house w/ the threes, but unbelievable that he caught that straight on river. didn't check to see what he had. very pretty hand.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Do you color code your players? Cuz I'd hate to think you classify twgsbirch or whatever and weak_player in the same category... LMAO

It was nice to have that kind of an ATM machine at the table.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

My hole cards last night were unbelieveable even by my luckbox standards. It's in my blog, and those numbers might be underestimated.

I'm sure variance will eventually, and rapidly, bite me in the ass, so I'll just ride out this streak as long as possible.

You should have known better than to push into my cowboys on the bubble. :)

12:12 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Very well done grasshoppa. I fold a ten for sure but a str8, no way.

12:13 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

I read this from Skalansky, too, and it seems to make a lot of sense, although my thinking too is wouldn't you make that much anyway if fuel did indeed have a straight? I'm pretty certain he raises you there.

eh, doesn't matter, nice play.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yes of course with the straight I don't see how Fuel keeps from raising in that spot. I got unbelievably lucky to hit that hand, or more accurately for Fuel to the the hand he did on the end there. Just a really odd, random hand that probably won't happen again for another hundred years.

Bayne I may have to challenge you to some kind of a heads-up tournament to ease my feelings about your calling stationness.

And StB, I've played with you enough to know how you play. These were not calls you would have made when you're playing well.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Blinders said...

Before bashing Bayne_S play you need to consider his standing in the BBT. He has played all events and leads in points/event by a pretty big margin, and third in cash (would be first except for some large big-game payouts). He is dominating this thing, so I find it hard to believe that this is a fluke. I credit his playing skill for where he is right now.

Also, if you are going to complain about what he is calling with, it would be nice to explain the hand in context. It is very often correct to call preflop with ATC late in an MTT, if you feel you are priced in. I have no idea if any of the bad calls you are claiming was really a bad call based on the situation. Calling Jams with a PP is not horrible in an MTT, as so many people jam with two big cards late.

1:07 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Full Tilt Poker Game #2724727460: The Mookie - Hey Buuuddyy (20374210), Table 7 - 100/200 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:34:31 ET - 2007/06/20
Seat 1: NightRanger (4,880)
Seat 2: Wippy1313 (4,260)
Seat 3: Fishiswa (6,812)
Seat 4: cmitch (3,127)
Seat 5: hoyazo (2,977)
Seat 6: GCox25 (1,670)
Seat 7: Unimpressed (5,440)
Seat 8: Astin (7,689)
Seat 9: bayne_s (2,500)
Unimpressed posts the small blind of 100
Astin posts the big blind of 200
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bayne_s X X
bayne_s calls 200
NightRanger folds
Wippy1313 folds
Fishiswa folds
cmitch folds
hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
hoyazo raises to 1,200
GCox25 folds
Unimpressed folds
Astin folds
bayne_s raises to 2,500, and is all in
hoyazo folds
Uncalled bet of 1,300 returned to bayne_s

Is the hand that drew the 1st "calling station" comment of the night from Hoy.
Now since I raised thought that's a little unfair.

My take is for Hoy to not call 1300 into a 4000 pot (but to lose cripples) means he got caught stealing and is pissed.

Last night after tourney I zipped up my 4 tables of Mookie and e-mailed them to work.

I am willing to forward file to 3rd party arbiter to independently try to find me calling an all-in with 55, KJ or KQ.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

FWIW I was not stealing with that hand, Bayne, nor did it piss me off in the least. I made a good raise with a good hand (AQs), and you limp-reraised allin with a clear monster, so I folded my good hand. I can't believe you think that one hand means anything to me. My calling station comments are based on what I have repeatedly observed through several blonkaments, and obviously have nothing to do with anything that happened last night since I had already mentioned this last week. Last night was just the latest (50) example(s) of what I am talking about.

Can't argue with your incredibly dramatic results in total BBT points, nor would I try to. But I will stand by my commentary and only wish other people would take them more to heart.

Nice job last night. I owe you that $11 bounty btw for winning, which I will most definitely send you this evening.

Blinders, I never used the word fluke. Get some fucking reading comprehension please. Bayne made so many bad preflop calls last night and then nailed flops with shitcards that I think I broke my keyboard.

1:43 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

I am willing to forward file to 3rd party arbiter to independently try to find me calling an all-in with 55, KJ or KQ.

As I said earlier the A9 call of Mookie represented 3% of my stack against a shortie for 2:1 pot odds and a banner. This call seems defensible in that light (56:44 favorite)

The 99 call was only frustrating because I did hit set when he hit Ace, I put him on AK was correct so called his re-raise shove.(55:45 favorite)

I did call off a lot of chips to Astin with AQs from button, I didn't hit. BSB wars mistakes are made when parties have better hands than they need.

I had 6 6 when I shoved into your AQ but decided to represent a monster.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Note to self: Make sure to order the waaaahhhhhhmbulace for Hoy when he busts out of next week's Mookie.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Bayne, you had 66 in that hand like I have four mothers.

Btw you don't seem to get this, but claiming you had 66 and played it like that would be the best example yet of your inability to get away from hands preflop once you commit chips. Thankfully you didn't have the hand you claim you did there.

3:06 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

I must now bow down to Al's wisdom and drop the matter.

4:03 AM  
Blogger WildDuces234 said...

Can I get a little direction on how to post screen shots as you do here? do you take them with Control Print screen? or a program?

Side note My first post is up!

11:03 PM  

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