Monday, August 06, 2007

MATH Pimp, Another Token, and Big Game Victory

It's Monday Time again!!!

Be there tonight at 10pm ET on full tilt for Mondays at the Hoy as we renew our engines after another lazy summer weekend and get ready to kick some ass in the Mookie and the Riverchasers tournaments later this week. Password as always is "hammer", so whether you've just begun playing with our group, you play with us several times each week or you've never even played with us before, make tonight the night that you take the plunge in Mondays at the Hoy!

After this weekend guys, it is official. I am on fire. I am borderline unbeatable right now in poker. I mean, sure I'm not winning every tournament I enter. Me unbeatable equals KOD at about 33% capacity for asskickery. But my hot streak continued again this weekend, as I cashed in second place in Kat's donkament on Friday night for my first cash in that fairly new blonkament (congrats to Maigrey for taking that down) and won about $300 in various small tournaments and cash games (both nlh and my new favorite cash game, $2-$4 PLO). On Saturday I did not play, but on Sunday night I sat down for another token frenzy attempt as well as the latest Big Game to try to keep the streak going.

Long story short, I managed to win my fourth tier II token in a week from the frenzy, withstanding an early beat where some fonk called my flop allin with just AQo unimproved, and then made runner-runner hearts to flush me despite my being well ahead with my pocket pair when the money went in. In the end I watched as Bayne also sneaked in to a token on a small stack using his near-perfect scraping skills on the satellite bubble, so we both basically got to play in the Big Game as a freeroll using just that night's winnings. I was hoping my play in the frenzy would translate to my play in the Big Game as well since I had done a great job moderating my aggression appropriately to win another token on the night.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason and despite my earnest hopes, I actually played reckless and borderline stoopid through much of the first two hours of the Big Game on Sunday night. I made bets where I probably was best off not betting. I bluffed into people for absolutely no good reason when they were showing strength. I made a couple of unbelievable calls where I probably shouldn't have. And you know the best part? I got lucky, a few times, and I managed to make something happen with that luck despite probably not really playing in the right frame of mind for this thing.

Things started off rocky for me as I had ScottMc at my starting table, who always seems to play me well. Combine his good reads and aggressive stance with me playing like donkey and the result was me reraising Scott large on the turn with nothing but a draw and a Queen overcard, expecting a fold but instead getting called by Scott's well-played flopped set (dam you presto). Suddenly, the blinds are only at 20-40, and my starting stack of 3000 is now down to just 420 chips. 420 chips, maybe 15 minutes in to the tournament! I was pissed but for whatever reason I was just into playing reckless on the night. That's all I can say about it.

A couple of hands later I ended up reraising Gnome allin for my last 420 with 65o, just trying to go out in style in a heads-up pot to give myself a fighting chance of hitting a board. Gnome had to call for only another 200 or so chips (I knew he did when I pushed my micro stack), and he flips up A6 to dominate my 65. Figures. But then the flop brought not one but two fives, and I had luckboxed my way back to 880 chips and at least some slight chance of survival for a bit here.

Luck continued to be with me, as a few hands later brought me pocket Aces, which I figured I needed to score big with in this spot to have any chance, so I did the unthinkable and limped from late position into a three-way pot. The Queen-high flop looked fairly harmless, so I bet small in the hopes of a checkraise for all my chips, and Surf obliged with what turned out to be AQ for a well-disguised TPTK setup that he has to figure is ahead there. Surf hoyed me actually, which doesn't get done to me more than once or twice a quarter it seems so that was always fun, but then I got in there and doubled up again, now back over 1700 chips after my flirt with elimination so early at the hands of ScottMc.

The worst part about this story is that, even after some good play and a lot of good luck helped bring me back a respectable stack from just 420 chips like five minutes earlier, I then started immediately playing reckless again. It was like I just didn't care at the beginning part of this tournament. I mean, I know I did care, but for whatever reason I was almost without my brain's conscious compliance playing as if I didn't. I did manage to bluff a couple of pots with total garbage but nicely-sized bets on the flop and turn, but eventually I tried a big raise against Mike Maloney, again with absolutely nothing, and this time I got moved allin and had to quickly fold my dumb bluff, dropping back below 1500 chips in the process. I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to be playing in this thing when I first sat down I guess. In any event I entered the first break in 10th place of 13 players remaining, with 14 of us having started in what turned out to be a very tight first hour of any non-BBT blonkament.

Shortly into hour 2, I semisteal-raised with A9s from late position to try to take down the blinds when Gnome reraised me allin from the big blind, on a shorter stack than I. I looked at my cards -- A9s -- and obviously knew I was likely dominated by a higher Ace. Then I looked back at Gnome's short stack and thought he had to have a fairly wide range here. Then I looked at his allin raise, as opposed to just a pot-sized raise which I figured he would have done -- even on a short stack -- if he had some big huge hand or something. I decided to recklessly make the call with my sooted donk hand of A9s, he flips up JTs and I hold for the double-up to make my first elimination of the evening. I still can't really explain how I make that call with A9s in that spot, other than to say that I was feeling and playing reckless at the time and that there was some method to my madness at least.

Around midway through the second hour, Wes raised from late position and I moved allin with pocket Jacks. Wes elatedly called and showed pocket Aces. But I have dominated pocket Aces recently as I've written much about here, and I spiked a Jack on the flop and then a boat on the turn, which was good since the river gave Wes the nut flush as well. Once again luck had reared its ugly head after an aggressive move by me on the night, and I was saved again, vaulting this time up to 2nd place out of 10 players left at that point by cracking Wes's Aces.

A few hands later, we reached the final table, with me in 2nd place of the 9 players, sitting to the immediate left of Don who was the chip leader. Don and I had a number of interesting battles. Every time wed see a flop in a blind vs. blind situation, it was do I check or lead this time? What did I do last time? What have I been doing in this spot when I've had a hand in general at this table? It was a constant game of cat and mouse with Don, and I had fun for once in a long while playing against someone who actually understands this stuff and thinks a lot like I do about the game and about poker in general. We traded several pots back and forth, frankly with neither one of us I don't think having an advantage over the other in any meaningful way as the final table began.

A few hands later, Wes and I got allin preflop together and I had him dominated, but Wes got a little bit of revenge on his having pocket Aces cracked not once but twice in the tournament, so he got back a nice stack. This tilted me a bit and led me to making more reckless calls, including a horrible call of an allin when I held KTs (was up against AQo and lost) that knocked me near the bottom of the standings. Then I made another big reckless call against Bayne who had also hoy reraised me preflop, as I flipped up my Ace-middle and he showed a total garbage hand that I also had dominated, sending Bayne to the rail and giving me back a large stack once again. At one point with six players remaining (3 would pay), I had over 12k in chips while second place was just over 8k, so I was in great shape heading towards the bubble against one of the toughest final table fields I can recall playing in a blonkament.

The full tilt server weighed in with plenty more shenanigans at this point, giving us a hand when down to 5 players remaining where AA, KK and TT all got allin preflop. As if that isn't crazy enough to see 5-handed, of course Don's TT won on a turned straight, taking Wes down on his second Ace-cracking of the night and bringing I think Surf down to below 1000 chips in beating his pocket Kings as well. And the most amazing part to me of all this is that Wes, even after having Aces cracked twice in key spots during the Big Game, remained calm and was basically a total gentleman from start to finish. That guy is crazy, my head woulda been through my laptop screen already at that point fo sho.

Eventually we got down to the bubble with four players remaining, and each of myself, Wes, Don and fluxer had both largeish and smallish stacks at some point as we fought to find a bubble boy for the night, with each one of us hoping it would not be us. In the end Don fell victim to two setup hands against me, one where he moved in with AT when I happened to find TT, and then the final elimination occurred when Don pushed in with KQ when I happened to have QQ at the same time. Don went out on the bubble in 4th place, leaving Wes, Fluxer and I to battle it out for the cash.

We played for a good little while 3-handed there, with me not once but twice making more big quasi-reckless calls against minbets or min-raises from fluxer and getting lucky both times that he actually did not have anything great. One of those times was me calling about a half-pot bet on the river with A9 and middle pair on the 9s to beat fluxer's unimproved A7, and a second time was me calling flux's river minraise with just Queen-high and still taking the pot. I was stealing and betting like crazy at this point and was just happy to continue amassing a stack, such that I had a 22k to 9k to 9k chip lead when fluxer finally pushed allin on me with his AT preflop, which I quickly called with my AQ and flux was out in 3rd place.

I had about a 30k to 10k chip lead heading into heads-up play with Wes since I had eliminated both #4 and #3 from this tournament, and I did not want to play any hands for big chips preflop without having a strong hot-and-cold hand that had good showdown value. With such a large chip lead I knew I would have time to wait for a good situation so I reigned in the aggression and even folded a pot or two before the flop which is not normally my M.O. in these types of heads-up battles at the ends of mtts. Eventually after probably only 5 or 10 minutes of heads-up play, Wes moved allin preflop and I mulled it over for a bit with my KJo. Eventually I figured I was probably up against some kind of an Ace and therefore slightly behind, but there were a lot of chips in the pot already and I figured I was close to 50% against any middle pair hand he could be holding. I finished the night more or less as I had started it, making a semi-reckless call in this spot, showing my KJo and then Wes flipped up the beautiful KT. Despite dominating Wes here, Wes quickly spiked the Ten on the flop, but then the turn and river gave me the runner-runner straight for the resuck, and the title was mine.

OK so lets review. I played crazy early, making dumb plays, losing some and getting down to 420 chips from my 3000 starting stack. Then I sucked out when dominated on that short stack, then doubled again when I quickly found pocket Aces. I tried hard to lose that newfound chip stack with a number of aggressive bluffs too, and eventually I managed the big suckout against Wes's Aces to give me my first big stack of the tournament.

At the final table, I got more or less set up twice against Don when just 4 handed -- although in each case I was ahead on all streets -- first TT vs AT and then QQ vs KQ. Then I got set up again with AQ vs AT to eliminate fluxer in 3rd place. Then I dominate Wes on the last hand of the tournament on a quasi setup hand (frankly I was a bit surprised that a tightish player like Wes got it allin there with KTo but I guess it's not a bad play heads-up like that, in particular against me), I got sucked out on on the flop but then I resucked river for the victory. In the end it was my first Big Game victory in maybe 7 attempts, netting me $483 for first prize to go along with my two second-place finishes in this tournament thus far in 2007, making the Big Game a very profitable endeavor for me so far since Don started running it several months ago. And in the end, I guess it just goes to show you how you really do need a good deal of luck to win a multi-table tournament, especially against the "better" competition generally thought to be included in the Big Game thanks to its $75 buyin. It was a great time for me overall, including a huge comeback from just 420 chips 15 minutes in to the event, and I am thrilled that my hot streak continues for one more day now heading into Monday night's MATH tournament.

See you tonight at 10pm ET for Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice win Hoy.

Tough yet fun final table and the RNG seemed to be going a little crazy short-handed.

I was looking forward to a HU battle with you but I kept running into your monsters. Oh well next time.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Nicely done, Hoy.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

That Q-high call you made was sick, by the way. Absolutely sick.

Nice win ya luckbox. :)

1:58 AM  
Blogger TripJax said...

I wanted to defend my title, but oh well. Nice win you fonkey.


2:17 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

You're welcome for the dead money. Nice win!

2:24 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Sunday poker on Full Tilt is ghey!

2:28 AM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Nice win Hoy! I had planned to attend the Big Game myself, but wasn't able to get online 'til nearly the first break. Nice win! AND congrats on the recent token victories.

See you at the MATH.

3:12 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

And don't forget the third beat you put on my in Kat's Friday blonkament, where you cold called a raise from middle position with KQ, I re-raised from the small blind and you pushed all-in. I had 77, and of course you made a boat.
Seriously though, maybe you should relax a bit before the FTOPS. I don't think this Jerry Yang style can be profitable for long.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thx for the linkage

3:52 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

"So sick is right.

I have to work hard to bluff with the hammer and no hit on the board whatsoever.

Nice run in the 5050 man."

Saw this as comment on Astin's blog today. You were such a freakn card rack yesterday and you still have the gall to post this?

6:22 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

No card rack yesterday, Bayne. Got sucked out on twice, and sucked out three times. I got lucky but I didn't even approach card rack. Go read Astin's last few posts to see what a card rack looks like.

Or you could check your own hand histories from any of the bbt events. Just search for flopping quads.

7:57 AM  
Blogger surflexus said...

Congrats!!! I tried to hang in to the end with you but...well....maybe next time. :)
And I'm with you, Wes definitely kept his cool after a couple of brutal beats.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Gnome said...

Sorry for being an ass in my last comment -- I think I was still a bit tilted without realizing it.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Ha ha Gnome I am with you 100%. Fortunately your comment barely even stands out among some of the clownish commentary I get here. No hard feelings man, I've been taking it to you lately and some of it really sucks.

Ran KQ into AK in blinds special in the MATH this week if that makes you feel any better.

7:06 PM  
Blogger lj said...

was the KQ v. AQ a blind thing? i thought someone in earlier position raised to about 1600 and you jammed for 8k more? i guess i'll have to wait for today's post to read more!

10:57 PM  

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