Tuesday, June 19, 2007

MATH Recap, and More on Cash Games

This week saw a whopping 55 runners sit down to the MATH tournament to play for their piece of a $1320 prize pool, a new record for Mondays at the Hoy and another $110 added to the burgeoning prize pool for the BBT challenge, including end-of-year payouts and that big freeroll tournament to be played in late July. I was especially happy to see a number of those players around the middle of the pack on the BBT leaderboard joining in on Monday night, in particular those of you who are near the top 50 spots on the BBT leaderboard threshold and/or the 20 events played threshold in order to get in to that freeroll. With still 6 BBT tournaments left (1 MATH, 2 Mookies, 2 Riverchasers and 1 Big Game), there is plenty of time to get yourself over one or both of those humps to ensure your participation in what I am going to guess will end up as close to a $2000 freeroll by the time all is said and done. Figure on 50 or 60 players and a $2000 prize pool with no buyin, and that is gonna make for some bigass free payouts for a number of lucky winners, so get in and qualify now while you still can!

Anyways this week's MATH tournament was a hard-fought battle as usual, replete with the customary suckouts and bad beats that full tilt seems to have gone a little overboard with over the past several days, from reading a number of bloggers' accounts of the past weekend's activity on the virtual felt. With 55 players, the top 28 would receive those precious BBT points (meaning that Blinders busted out approximately 7 seconds after #29 hit the rail of course), and the top 7 players at the final table would receive cash payouts and either get on to the 2007 MATH moneyboard for the first time or increase their position on the board.

First off, I was pleased to see that 3 of the first 4 players eliminated from the MATH this week were top ten BBT guys, the very guys I wrote about last Friday in my quasi-rant post after a hellish week of work and dealing with some incredible donkish personalities at my "other" job, the one that pays the bills. It is always heartening to feel like I'm actually being read, understood and appreciated with the drivel I'm spitting out here at the blog on a daily basis, and to see Bayne, who has basically all but sewn up the top BBT spot after last week's big Riverchasers win, be the gigli for the evening just warms my heart. So Bayne, Don and IslandBum all went down in the first few minutes of the tournament, and I like to think that the roadmap I gave right here to beating all of those guys just last Friday contributed somewhat to that occurrence. Not that I don't like those guys, because frankly I like everyone in the top 10 very much (Waffles is out of the top 10 for now, right? I keed. Kudos to the Waffler actually for finishing in 32nd place in the newly-created 50-50 tournament last night on full tilt), but since I'm not in the top 10, I'm psyched whenever those guys of whom I am quite jealous have a tough time holding on to their positions. And I am pleased to report that not only did a few of the guys I wrote about on Friday get donked out very early in the latest Hoy tournament, but precisely zero of them cashed or even made the final table in this week's event, with Astin putting up the best showing of that group before busting in 10th place right on the final table bubble. In the end Astin still outlasted me, as I went out in 15th place after Fishy McDonk, a guy who's game I respect quite a bit, called my short-stacked preflop allin with his KQo, a hand he deserved to lose with but unfortunately I was pushing with two lower cards and Fishy took me out. Still, given how crappy I ran through the tournament I can't complain about a 15th place finish out of 55 runners. It's more BBT points and in the end I outlasted I think everyone ahead of me on the list other than Astin, so that's all good.

I was able to watch most of the rest of the tournament, at least passively, and here are your eventual cashers in this week's MATH:

In 7th place, cashing for $52.80 and getting his name onto the 2007 MATH moneyboard for the first time is relative newcomer Rake Feeder -- Rake, if you have a blog please leave the link in the comments and I will post it up here.

Cashing in 6th place for $79.20 was resident pushmonkey Pushmonkey72 who played the hammer a few times and actually made my life difficult on a few occasions last night when I had the opportunity to play with him.

5th place in this week's MATH tournament and $105.60 cash goes to Chad, and although I didn't see how he busted, hopefully it was by some vicious suckout for the King of the Donks who I am still amazed final tabled that donkfest knows as the nightly 26k guaranteed on full tilt three times in one frigging week.

Heffmike finished this week's tournament in 4th place, winning $145.20 for his efforts, although I did not get to play with him at all during the evening so I can't really comment on anything he did or saw. I do know that heffmike also makes his first appearance on the 2007 MATH moneyboard with this week's solid finish, as he does not usually have the chance to play this event, so welcome to the list, Mike!

Coming in 3rd place this week, cashing for $198 even, is Jordan from Highonpoker, fresh off of last week's big 3k+ win. Jordan is on a major roll lately, and his online roll is flush with cash just now, so look for him to make some noise in the remaining BBT tournaments and maybe make a big run to the finish line in the challenge.

$277.20 and 2nd place honors this week go to Fishy McDonk, who not only has the dubious honor of eliminating me from the tournament but who also dropped an awesome hammer on me early in the event, so you know the guy was feeling it early and often. In the end he entered heads-up play at around a 2-to-1 chip deficit, and you certainly can't blame him for eventually getting it allin heads up preflop with his TT, which unfortunately lost a race with AK and that was all she wrote to land Fishy in 2nd place overall on the week.

And this week's MATH winner, taking down his first-ever Hoy title as well as $462 cash money in his full tilt account is cmitch, who put on a clinic in the late stages of play last night, including playing slow and steady with the chip lead in heads-up play against Fishy before waiting for AK preflop to get all his chips into the middle.

And now what you've all been waiting for, the updated 2007 MATH moneyboard including this week's tournament results:

1. Hoyazo $849
2. VinNay $775
3. cmitch $774
4. Bayne_s $683
5. NewinNov $677
6. Iggy $641
7. Astin $616
8. Columbo $606
9. Tripjax $561
10. Julius Goat $507
11. mtnrider81 $492
12. Chad $485
13. scots_chris $474
14. Fuel55 $458
15. Otis $429
16. Miami Don $402
17. Lucko21 $389
18. Jordan $382
19. Blinders $379
20. Pirate Wes $372
21. IslandBum1 $357
22. ChapelncHill $353
23. Zeem $330
24. Mike_Maloney $326
25 oossuuu754 $312
26. Waffles $294
27. Wigginx $288
28. ScottMc $282
29. Fishy McDonk $277
30. Manik79 $252
31. Wippy1313 $248
32. Byron $234
33. RecessRampage $224
34. wwonka69 $216
35. Omega_man_99 $210
36. Pushmonkey72 $208
37. lightning36 $205
38. Buddydank $197
39. bartonfa $180
40. 23Skidoo $176
41. Santa Clauss $170
42. Iakaris $162
42. Smokkee $162
44. cemfredmd $156
44. NumbBono $156
46. lester000 $147
47. Heffmike $145
48. DDionysus $137
49. Patchmaster $135
50. InstantTragedy $129
51. Ganton516 $114
52. Gracie $94
52. Scurvydog $94
54. Shag0103 $84
55. PhinCity $80
55. jeciimd $80
57. Alceste $71
57. dbirider $71
59. Easycure $67
60. Rake Feeder $53

OK so we are now up to 60 players who have recorded at least one money cash in the MATH during 2007, which I believe extends through 24 MATH tournaments so far this year. Three of this week's cashers, Rake Feeder, Heffmike and Fishy McDonk, are making their first appearances of the year on the moneyboard, while pushmonkey72 and Jordan are adding to previous entries on the list, and cmitch is the week's big winner, soaring up to third place overall on the list after this week's big win.

And can somebody please tell me who that is up on top of the moneyboard? Who is this guy?

OK in other news, my cash woes continued last night at $400 nlh 6-max, though not to the absurd degree from this weekend, as I once again ended the night down around a buyin after losing not one, not two but three hands where I got allin on the flop when I was a 65% favorite facing just a primary draw from my opponent. I lost all three of those hands, costing me more than two full buyins to put a negative spin on what otherwise would have left last night's cash sessions solidly in the green. Running bad in cash games is...oh...only about 517 times more frustrating to me than running bad in tournaments. And don't get me wrong -- as a mtt guy going through a prolonged down streak is incredibly painful to endure. But the overall damage to my bankroll isn't even close to what it is after a much shorter downturn in the cash games. It just sucks to be one of those guys who is constantly getting in ahead, both in cash games or in tournaments, but in cash games losing three 2-to-1 favorites in a night can turn a +$800 session into a -$400 session in an awfully big hurry.

At least I had the blogger cash table to fall back on, which was a 1-2 full ring table on full tilt that Weak and Bayne had put together sometime early during the MATH. Despite buying in for the max, and having to reload for another $100 or so in total after one bad play early on, and then after running into the nuts when my KK lost to A5 on a miracle 234 flop after the guy had called my preflop raise with A5s, I ended up more than a buyin on the night at this table, as is just about always the case any time I sit down to play cash with the bloggers. It's not that bloggers are weak-tight, but if anything I find most bloggers to be over-aggro as opposed to over-tight. Maybe that's just me, or maybe that's just the way they play against me, I don't know. But what I do know is that we managed to tilt another blogger at that table again last night, actually the same guy we've tilted on a few occasions in the recent past, and I'm left wondering, why does this guy even ever sit down with us? I mean, he was really pissy with me yesterday, and I never even did anything or said anything that should get him that way.

You know what I did? I pushed allin at one point on a massive overbet after he clearly was calling-stationing me preflop and again on the flop with an obviously inferior hand. So what of it? I see a guy who is willing to call off his chips in a hugely -EV fashion just for the chance of hitting some miracle draw to stack me. Sure I can keep taking his chips little by little while he makes inadvisable calls, and I do that and did that often last night. But eventually I know the guy is going to draw out on me, and when by his play he makes it so obvious that he ain't got shit but a pussy little draw, sometimes I get sick of the constant chasing because eventually, just like with that A5s hand earlier in the night, he's going to hit one of the miracle draws. When I have such a clear read on him that he's got nothing, why not just push allin once in a while and make him really pay to chase that pussyshit draw? So I did it. I think what really gets to this guy is that I basically always know the exact two cards he has in his hand, unless he just makes a bad preflop play and then flops the nuts in an unknowable way like with the A5 hand. Some people just can't stand playing with guys who can read them like a book I guess. All I know is, at a $200 max table, I cashed out with nearly 5 hundy in front of me, and he got stacked. Twice. Again. This is the same guy who I stacked a month or two ago by calling a horrible out-of-nowhere river bluff with just my top pair decent kicker, and he tilted that night too. Like I said, some people just can't take it playing with someone who always knows what their hole cards are, down to the suits and everything. Ha ha I love it.

Anyways speaking of cash games, before I go today I wanted to link you to this post by the Surly Poker Gnome, who when it comes right down to it really knows his cash game shit. Go read that post if you have any interest in knowing where it's at with cash games. His point is 100% right on the mark in every way, and I can't believe I didn't see the post until earlier this week, but he hits it spot on -- you honestly don't need to be anywhere near the best player at the table in order to play cash poker profitably. You don't even need to be above average among the players at the table (though it certainly helps). Through the use of Poker Tracker, it can be very easy to go find the true donkeys at whatever limit you're playing, and go and sit down with them. Preferably on your immediate right, if at all possible. I could make money sitting at a table with 4 stars, myself and one abject donkey. I guarantee I could, again especially if the donkey is on my right. I've sat in plenty of poker games, both live and online, where all of us who knew what we were doing were basically targeting just the one or two donkeys at the table, and that can be done perfectly profitably by several players at the table at once, all while those good players are mostly staying out of each other's way. This is something I've read about in numerous poker books, but until you've lived it in actual cash games for actual, meaningful money on the line, time and time again, you often don't realize just how true it really is. As the Gnome says, making money at cash isn't about being the best player at the table; it's about finding the biggest donkeys, sitting with them in good relative position to your own, and exploiting them. Go try it one of these days and see for yourself.

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Blogger FishyMcDonk said...

Actually, I ended up losing to cmitch's AK with pocket tens (not AT). And I was the BB calling your allin with KQ. I figgered you were on any two so the odds demanded I make the call. I had no choice really.

12:12 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...

Thanks for hosting last night - great turnout.

Don't worry about those cash game swings. You will definitely wind up ahead (by a lot) in the long run if you keep getting it all in as a 65% favorite.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Fishy, I've corrected the elimination hand. I'm such a donk with hand histories it is frightening sometimes. Maybe you can see now why I like to screenshot everything just to memorialize it all as I review my hand histories after every night of play. Anyways you played great, and of course you had to call me with KQ there, even though I was not quite pushing with ATC there but you got in ahead so there's obviously nothing bad to be said about the play. Sucks to have heads-up decided by a race on a silly river card, but what can you do, you played great.

12:38 AM  
Blogger BigPirate said...

Ahhh, I missed it while I was gone. The MATH is a nice thing to return to.

Congratulations on the WSOP score. I didn't know about it while I was in Vegas or I would have had a waitress bring you a free drink. Next time, the rounds are on me.

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

Hey Wes, yes like so many guys who were out there in the end I was playing too much poker to get to know everyone. Wish we could have chatted more. Let's definitely make it a plan for next time.

1:30 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Thanks for hosting last night.

So glad I could warm your heart with a Gigli

2:55 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Are you kidding me??? Are you telling me fluxer is a blogger? And here I thought we were just bullying the nonbloggers...

Also, thanks for that nice assist on my slam dunk with AA. I'm sure I would've gotten his entire stack since he had QQ but when you said "FOLDY FOLDY. Your A-10 is no good here" I'm pretty sure that's what made him donk push his entire stack preflop... I mean it's nice when the only work I have to do with AA is click on the call button.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

Thanks for the link!

3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in the actual story can take a look at my blog.

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Also, thanks for that nice assist on my slam dunk with AA. I'm sure I would've gotten his entire stack since he had QQ but when you said "FOLDY FOLDY. Your A-10 is no good here" I'm pretty sure that's what made him donk push his entire stack preflop"

It's good to see you guys are "assisting" each other, as you were likely chatting on instant messaging when the hand took place.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Buddy Dank said...

...and in the end I outlasted I think everyone ahead of me on the list other than Astin, so that's all good.

*ahem* *cough* *whippoorwill*

4:45 AM  
Blogger Patch said...

Anyways speaking of cash games, before I go today I wanted to link you to this post by the Surly Poker Gnome, who when it comes right down to it really knows his cash game shit.

I think he's dead-on with where the money comes from. That's exactly why things have become so much tougher online. We're down to largely recycled winnings from US players who are not maniacs, crazies, calling stations, chronic folders, or, in general, fish.

The cash games, at least on the limit side, have tightened up tremendously over the last year, particularly in the last six months or so. I used to regularly find players who were complete fools and I would happily help them become parted with their money. Those players are few and far between these days. Not that everyone left is soon going to be hitting the final table at the WSOP, but they're mostly competent enough that they're not bleeding chips.

4:55 AM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

DP makes some strong points. Even in friendly blogger games, its extremely wrong to tell someone how to act, even if you are doing it in a kidding way. In my 3k win, at the final table, a player was chatting and telling me to call the other guy's alleged bluff. I told him to shut his trap, because I didn't want him tainting my win. Any table talk like that is inappropriate and suggests collussion, even if it is unintended collussion.

Hoy, I'd also like to see you address DP's comments on his site. He seemed to have correctly called you out on that KK v. A5s hand.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I will definitely take a look at flux's site tonight. But any notion of any cheating or assisting or IM'ing or anything like that is laughable. Unsurprising, but laughable. Anybody who "assists" like that at a table I am on, I wish them physical injury. How lame. Thanks for the accusations though, it makes what happened last night all the funnier actually.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Wow. And I thought we were done with faking hand histories the last time that happened. Interesting decision there for my tiltable blogger friend.

5:02 AM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Hoy, I can't speak as to the veracity of the hand history. But I'm sure you can agree that in general, players should not be goading other players on how to act. That's not to say there was collussion, but merely the possibility or appearance of collussion. It's not your fault either, since you weren't the one doing the improper chat. I'm just saying that generally, we should all know by now not to tell another player how to act, even if we are joking around. Its like the rule about attorney conflicts; its enough that there is the appearance of a conflict, even if one does not exist. We must hold ourselves up to a high standard, such that we don't even create the appearance of improper conduct. I think that's a lesson as applied to poker that we should all learn.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoy, what is fake? Do you not save hand histories? If you do, the ones I posted on my blog are saved on your hard drive. Feel free to point out exactly what you're talking about.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah Jordan I can say for sure that I wouldn't be a big fan if I felt another guy at the table was colluding or really even exerting a whole lot of influence over another player with whom I was involved in a big hand. That said, as you point out I didn't do anything wrong in the hand with Fluxer last night. It's sad, really, that a guy decides to call an allin reraise with QQ, runs in to AA, and can't even own his decision such that he's out here blaming it on other people colluding when there was nothing of the sort going on.

And btw, I type things like "foldy foldy" into the chat a the cash and tournament tables online oh...only about 300 times a night. If Fluxie or anyone else actually read and make decisions based on that stuff, then I really am the best.

To be clear, I only wish my chat had anything to do with Fluxey calling and getting stacked for the second time last night. Sadly, of course that one was all him. :(

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"that a guy decides to call an allin reraise with QQ, runs in to AA" -hoy

I went all in with QQ -- he called with AA. Again, I'm not sure where you are getting your information.

The only issue I have is being instigated during the hand, and then having to take flack afterward for making a play you would have also made. But that's just my personal stance. Aside from that...

You said something about faking hand histories in a comment above. You incorrectly stated what happened at the blogger $1-$2 NL table (and bashed my past play from a .10/.25 NL table without mentioning the stakes), and now you've insinuated the hand histories I've provided from the $1-$2 NL blogger game on my blog are fake because they contradict your false statements, which is absurd and has absolutely no basis.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

I lost with AK 5 handed all in pre for a ton of chips to one of these donks. Clown CALLED with JQ off....

12:00 PM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Ummm.... ok, I was kidding... I had no idea my comment would go so out of control. First of all, the hand was QQ vs AA. Earlier in the evening, I made a comment to flux about how I've seen him min raise and then call an all in with A-10 (at a different table, different night... flux, it was just something I had in my notes) so even if Hoy's chat was banned for example, the way the hand developed, flux raised from EP, another guy called, and I reraised from the button. For sure flux would at the very least call the raise if not come over the top with his holding. The flop was all low which is why I said I'm sure I would've gotten his entire stack anyways. When Hoy wrote FOLDY FOLDY, I just thought that was funny. What was funnier was to go all in over the top of a reraise... I guess he thought I had AK...

And come on, to suggest collusion? I'd like to think that this blog community would have more class than to suggest something like that. But I'm new here so what do I know. What's next? Are you gonna tell me online poker is NOT rigged???? I mean seriously. I am here to improve myself as a poker player and the best way I know how is to continue to play and experiment different plays, gain experience, etc. I don't need anyone holding my hand during a hand and I certainly won't violate the one person to a hand code of conduct. But that's just me.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'd like to think that this blog community would have more class than to suggest something like that. But I'm new here so what do I know. What's next?" -RecessRampage

It's fairly obvious to me that you're telling the truth. I don't have any real reason to believe you colluded in any way. I'm sorry to cause such a commotion, especially with you being so new to the poker blogging community.

That out of the way -- Hoyazo didn't get his facts straight, and I was compelled to explain on my blog.

Hoyazo often recalls the specifics of poker hands incorrectly...

7:23 PM  

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