Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tilt-Reeling From the Mookie

People keep telling me I have got to work on my tilt. Sometimes I feel like they're right, but most of the time I'm not so sure. I mean, I'm a firm believer that my tiltmonkeyness -- or rather, the qualities and emotions that lead me to be such a tiltmonkey, anyways -- are huge contributors to the success that I've had as a poker player. You won't find someone more competitive than me, or who wants to win more than me, or who expects to win more than me. I'm like KOD in the nightly 26k -- I expect to win every single time I sit down at the poker table, be it IRL or on the Internets. I have a deep understanding of all the important elements of all the major poker games. And my ability at reading other players is generally very strong relative to the others I play with, no matter who they are.

As a result, when I get beat by a play that I know is horrible, or if I just plain get sucked out on, in a spot where I was close to making a big move, it tends to really piss me off. And as a result, I tend to go on tilt more than your average player. A lot more. But if you take away my tilt, I think you take away a lot of my edge as a poker player as well. So I am comfortable generally speaking with the existence of my tilt. I suppose it could be reined in a little bit and still be an improvement for me overall. But I wouldn't want to that it away too much. You would be sad and disappointed if you saw me playing like you know who or you know who among our little blogger group -- you know, the pussy guys, guys who always fold to your steal attempts, guys who constantly get caught pushing with crap early into small pots and routinely watch the last few blonkament tables every single week from the sidelines.

Anyways, all this is a roundabout way of saying that last night I let myself get pretty effing tilted. Basically, I was down to 11th in the Mookie out of 72 players, sitting in 7th place of the remaining players, and I had happen to me what absolutely never happens for me late in these blonkaments -- I actually picked up a fucking hand! Pocket Kings, in the blinds no less, and you can imagine my excitement when Irongirl open-pushed utg ahead of me with what turned out to be A8o, which I obviously instacalled and looked for the easy double-up which was going to get me into the top half of the field and lead me to my 3rd top 10 finish in the last four Mookie tournaments. I don't know whether it was the Ace on the flop or the 8 on the river for good measure that set me off more, but what I did know is that I was suddenly out of the Mookie in 11th place after finding my first big starting hand in a late-stage blonkament in literally as long as I can remember. Dammit! It still pisses me off thinking about it now. I will never, even win a Mookie. It's just not in the cards for me (pun intended). If I can't take advantage of KK in the blind with an utg push preflop ahead of me with a weak Ace, then it's just never going to happen. If I was a man I would just stop playing this shit altogether. But I'm not a man, I love the Mookie just too much. But I wish I was a man, since I've accepted I can never, ever win this thing. For some reason I'm just not allowed to.

One thing I will say about last night is that, basically since Bayne all but sealed up the BBT title a couple of weeks back, the Mookie and really all the blonkaments in general have loosened up considerably in the earlygoing, as compared to the earlier BBT tournaments where the scoring system has basically created an incentive for many people to play much tighter than usual for a blonkament. I will admit that I'm looking forward to the blonkaments starting next week without the BBT for the first time in three months for this very reason. And don't get me wrong -- nobody could be happier with how much participation and community has been fostered by all the BBT tournaments since early April. I just think three months is a good amount of time for the BBT, and I believe many other blonkeys will be happy as I am to play some blonkaments for a while without any specific scoring system or method of tracking indivual cumulative performances affecting decisions that certain players might make in these events. Anyways, in this week's Mookie we got all the way down from 72 entrants to 38 players remaining in just the first hour, which I really love because as I said it's like the old, pre-BBT days and I look forward to more of the same in the coming weeks as the BBT tournaments continue to roll on.

And speaking of this week's Mookie tournament, congratulations to Pirate Wes and Alan, who put on quite a show last night through about an hour-long heads-up battle for the win, with the chip lead seesawing back and forth and back and forth seemingly countless times. One player would get up 2-to-1 or maybe even 3-to-1, and then the other would power his way back and end up taking his own 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 lead, and then it would start all over again. Eventually with the two players close to even, Alan clearly kinda lost his nerve and just started pushing allin preflop with a lot of shit, and that plan worked as he nailed this massive suckout:

Of course, one hand later came the obligatory second suckout which always seems to happen to the short stack at the end of an mtt after taking a sick beat on the preceding hand:

and Alan is your latest Mookie winner, so congrats on a fine performance for the already-top-10 BBT player with now just two BBT tournaments left. And congratulations to Wes for avoiding his recent bubble troubles in a big way. And congrats to me for playing better than anyone else in the Mookie last night, and for deserving to be the real winner. Hah.

Anyways I started off writing about tilt today because that's what happened to me after my untimely exit from the Mookie allin preflop with pocket Kings against a weak Ace. It didn't help that jj sucked out a recockulous flush against me in the PLO8 in the Dookie just a few minutes prior to my Mookie elimination. But I was pissed off in a big way, and it took its toll in my other poker engagements after this time. Specifically, I ran off a $250 profit at the 1-2 blogger cash game down to just a $50 profit over the next hour or so, mostly due to my flopping top two pairs with KQ against a guy who made a downright silly flop call and then spiked an inside straight on the turn with his JackAce (naturally), and then my flopping a straight but then losing to a turned higher straight to a player with the JackAce, something which happened exactly the same to me now two nights in a row in blogger cash games (thanks Don!). Blech.

I was also in the 50-50 tournament last night on full tilt, which was my 5th attempt in this tournament, with my previous entries resulting in one deep cash (14th place), two bubbles and one early exit, but last night I was on a huge fucking roll in this thing. I had over 24,000 chips as we neared the bubble, which has been set at the top 153 players to receive payouts every night since the 5050 started running a little over a week ago, and I was sitting in the top 12 on the leaderboard or so when the hideous Mookie n Dookie beatings hit me, and I managed to spend the next half hour or so tilt-donking away half of my huge stack on a bluff against a calling station, and eventually the rest of it by calling a preflop reraise when I raised from steal position and he seemed like he was defending against my steal. In the end I had QTs, a much better than average hand against a guy who I figured was just defending without reference to the strength of his actual hand, but of course he called my allin reraise and flipped up pocket Kings. And unlike me last night, he had the kind of pocket Kings that of course hold up late in tournaments, even against two live sooooted, connecting paint cards, and IGH in 140th place for my second 5050 cash in 5 tries in this tournament. I have to say, that 5050 really is a great tournament. Between the 2000 chip starting stacks and the 12-minute blind levels, there really is room for a lot of play. And man are the players in this thing horrendous. Myself included.

Here was an interesting hand that happened to me in the 5050 tournament last night, and I am interested in how you guys out there like to play this hand before the flop. I guess I should be asking guys like Iggy, Bayne and Astin most of all since you guys get dealt starting hands like this 15 or 20 times every time you sit down to a small mtt to play, but really comments from any and all are welcome.

Here's the setup: It is about an hour into a large mtt. You doubled your starting stack early on, and have spent the last hour or so slowly dribbling away chips such that you are sitting now only about 70% above your starting stack, at 3380 chips. You are dealt pocket Aces in the cutoff. Two players to your right opens the betting preflop with a 3.5x raise (yes!), which is followed by another 3x reraise from the hijack position (double yes!). Here's what it looks like:

So how do you like to handle this situation here? Auto-push? Min-re-reraise? Smooth call? Fold? What do you think is the best way to put yourself in position to win the most possible total chips with this hand?

OK tonight is the last Riverchasers tournament of the BBT, so don't forget to join in tonight at 9pm ET on full tilt (password is "riverchasers"). This is especially important for those of you still on the outside looking in for the upcoming BBT freeroll, which includes dbirider, BoneDaddy, Patchmaster and Joe_13 as the four players not already qualified for the freeroll and who are within 50 BBT points of 50th place, who is currently the loose aggrodonk we know as Gary Cox. I've also got my eyes on Lucko and pvanharibo, both of whom have played in 19 BBT events and need just one more out of Riverchasers and the Big Game this week to qualify automatically, as well as Don Morris who has played in 18 events so can play his way in to the freeroll just by showing up and buying in to both of this week's remaining tournaments on the schedule. And a special callout to Irongirl, who used her sick and wrong, cruel and unusual and just generally unfair suckout against me with 11 players left to go on to a 3rd place finish for her first BBT cash of the year.

So tonight at 9pm ET, Riverchasers will definitely be the place to be on full tilt, and if you're want to see my tiltmonkeying self in action, you can surely find me as well at the 9:30pm ET 50-50 tournament, as well as for sure at the 9:45pm ET token frenzy where a whole slew of bloggers have been hitting up the virtual felt nightly this week to try to make a run at a $75 token for this Sunday night's upcoming Big Game, the final BBT event where it appears that at least spots 2 through 5 on the BBT leaderboard should be very much up for grabs.

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Blogger bayne_s said...

I go ahead and min-raise, one of the 2 is bound to have AK (or AQ) and shove at you (that's what happens in blogger tournies at least.

In 50-50 the initial raiser could have 45s and jam and suck out on you too.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Esquire80 said...

Greetings, I love reading this blog and many of the links.

First, as for the hand shove hopefully one will fold and you can double. With the way I've been running you only want to take flop heads up. Donk's will have a hard time getting away from JJ+ and AK.

You may get away w/ a raise but you are committing 50% of stack and that should set off alarm bells for even the donkiest of donks.

If it makes you feel better I was in the $200 buy-in $40K gtd on Bodog last night (great tourny structure btw). 30 minutes in I pick up AA in MP and raise standard. 2 callers and SB re-raise huge (weeee!). I shove and we go heads up. He turns up QQ and proceeds to run a str8 8 to Q. I'm crippled but still have 1K left.

3 mintutes from the first break I pick up KK. Flat call an utg raise and take a flop 4 way. I needed chips. Flop comes 10 high w/ 2 spades and I shove. AQ calls (at least it wasn't AJ I guess). Runner runner backdoor flush w/ the Qs and IGH gg me!

1:10 AM  
Blogger WildDuces234 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you can eat baby with AA. One if not both of those donks will give you action.

Jam it down their throats!

1:28 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

I open pushed for two reasons w/the A8 and im sure you know why. I was same stack size with about 6 others (including yourself and we were short handed at the table to boot with two big stacks and blinds arising. I was fighting for every blind I could steal to make my first BBT final table and cash. I had two choices there fold or all in. I didnt want to see a flop really.

Now I rather would have had me crack someone elses kings and I felt a little bad. But only a little :)

1:31 AM  
Blogger WildDuces234 said...

Can I get a little more credit then that? A J os ~ Da Nuts!
Flop [T,K,Q] Turn 9 and river 8

I did not draw to a inside st8 draw either- I just flopped pure gold

- btw - Check out the blog can you link me up?

AA raise and a reraise hu? I shove- or make it 1700 baised on how I have been percieved at the table. and yes they will call - the all in either way.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Why put yourself in a position after the flop where you have to make a choice, depending on the flop, get rid of the overcards and sooted trash and open push, if they suck out, they suck out, but at least the guy with 1/3 of his chips in the pot is going to get in behind on this one.

2:22 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I'd shove with those aces. I feel like one of them will definitely call you. Granted, that might not mean anything since I kinda had a dream scenario where I had AA, two all ins (both slightly less than me) in front of me, I obv shove, but lose when one of them hits their set... Stupid sets...

2:24 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

And btw, not so much I lost my nerve... I kinda felt like I was pretty lost in HU land so I decided to shove with anything that appeared above average for a heads up hand... I'm an uber end game donk...

2:25 AM  
Blogger steveray00 said...

You are in position for the classic Dan Harrington squeeze play. In book 1 of his series he talks about a hand just like this - I think the first raiser was Farha (plays a lot of hands) and the guy in the middle was someone with whom he had played a lot - can't remember who. Dan will basically reraise it aggressively here with almost any two cards when faced with this kind of preflop action. His thinking is that action gets back to the original raiser who have seen the crazy action and will likely fold. The other player is middled while trying to isolate the loose re-raiser and also folds. They both have to put you on a monster.

In this particular case, Dan knew that the guy to his right knew that he would make that play with any two cards. But Dan ALSO happened to have a hand (KK i think?) which is why he pushed. I think he got two calls and his Kings held up. The hand was televised and his opponents were criticized for their play but Dan thought they both played it right based on their histories, stack sizes etc.

2:33 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

after a short pause, auto-push those Aces. cutoff reraised 3x preflop. so, he must think his hand is *gold*.

you'll get at least one caller.

2:36 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

Bear in mind that this is one hour into the fifty-fifty... so there's still a good number of donks kicking around. I wouldn't be surprised to see KQ and QJ in those hands. I think it's more likely you're against AK and a middle pair (or KQ). You'll get callers.

The push will work. A min bet (or I'd consider another 1000) will definitely get a caller if not a re-push. An all-in might actually scare them both out if they're coming in with marginal hands and smart enough to realize you have to have a monster with a re-re-raise. That's unlikely though.

Any way you cut it, you're all in by the flop. Just hope for no suckouts.

As for the IG hand - there's nothing you can do there. It's not that you didn't get the best from KK, it's that the one overcard hit. I just can't tilt on a hand like that. Now, if IG bet, you raised, she called and there was no A on the flop and she calls an all-in and then the A hits... then you can tilt. But IG's too good a player to do that crap. The pre-flop push was an attempt at making a move, she got caught, and got lucky. I only get pissed when I TRY to get someone out and they refuse until the suck out. Otherwise it's my fault, or the cards.

Oh, and Duces - don't take it personally - Hoy's terrible with hand memory. :)

3:01 AM  
Blogger WildDuces234 said...

I know astin, none taken. He failed to mention he felted me with his set of ducks too. to the tune of 120'ish. so it's not like I getting rich over here... and with those aces 10 Q might just make the call too so look out!
I like the mention of the dramatic pause, then shove. so true.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Goat said...

It's a large field MTT on Full Tilt? Psshhhhhhh.

Don't even hesitate. Push all in, you'll get insta-called with QJo and 33.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

You know, I'm going to vote for smooth calling. Without any reads and with the blinds only at 50/100, I think any halfway decent opponent will fold to an all-in bet unless they have KK or maybe QQ. There's a raise, a reraise and then your push. I mean, wtf do they think you have? So you'd probably take down a pot worth 1500 without seeing a flop.
If you smooth call, a lot of good things can happen. The first raiser could come over the top, giving you an easy decision. If the first raiser calls, that puts 3150 in the middle, and you can push any flop.
You have AA. If you lose, so be it. But this is a great chance to double or even triple your stack, and I think pushing preflop might leave too much money on the table.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Steveray, it's not a Harrington squeeze. In that, an aggressive raiser has opened the pot and another has called. Neither is likely to be particularly strong. You push to punish both. Here, the second player has indicated strength.

Gnome, I think you're wrong. The second guy is going to call for sure, and the first might too, depending on what he has. (Wouldn't be surprised if another guy behind also called, just for fun.) Why let them see a flop and have an opportunity to get away from the hand? Not to mention that if it comes KQx or similar and first guy leads out, second guy raises, you're going to be secondguessing yourself

10:45 AM  

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