Tuesday, August 28, 2007

MATH Recap, and How to End a Winning Streak

27 runners showed up for another well-attended Mondays at the Hoy tournament on Monday night on full tilt, and for the second straight night I played like uberdonkey. It was sad, the way I played. More on that later. But for now suffice it to say that I called Surf down for almost my entire stack with just the JackAce unimproved, because I had a read that he was full of the shizznots. I was right, but I still lost. Surf held AK unimproved and had raised and called large bets twice with that holding in a blind vs. blind showdown where neither one of us actually believed the other had anything. Anyways, this was one of those frustrating situations where I laid a read on someone, I was right, but they just didn't lay down and I turned out to have an even worse hand than their bluff. Nice move. Still, I managed to double up and then some, growing my stack from 450 after the hand with Surf back up to around 1100, when I raised from early position with QQ, knowing I had raised aggressively several times already at this table and shown down some low-level crap starting hands. Leftylu decided to move in on me, and of course I insta-called with my pocket Queens. Leftylu sheepishly (I didn't see him of course but that had to be how he was feeling at the time) flipped up 75o. Aiight. Flop K86, turn 4 and I lose to the straight. To 75o with my Queens. This once again left me with just a few hundred chips, which I once again managed to more than double before getting allin with A9 against surf's 55, and an Ace flopped, but just like in the Mookie two weeks ago, Surf turns his 2-outer with a third 5 and IGH in 26th place of 27 runners. Yuck. Again, more on that later.

With 27 players, the top three spots would pay out of the $643 prize pool. Although honorable mention goes to RaisingCayne who made I believe his fourth final table in five lifetime attempts at the MATH, bubbling last night when his AK lost to Gary Cox's 99. Anyways, finishing in 3rd place this week and winning $124.60 was katiemother, who cashed in her second straight Hoy tournament this week to climb further a week after entering the 2007 MATH moneyboard for the first time. Ending up in second place after a short heads-up battle was Gary Cox, who won $194.40 after losing heads-up when he bet large with AQo unimproved on a raggy flop, got called and then moved in for last 19k on turn. And on the opposite side of that play, the man calling down and winning it all with pocket Kings in this week's MATH, including a whopping $324 for his performance was OMGitsPokerFool. The big news here is that pokerfool claimed in the chat after his big win that this is actually his first ever mtt victory! So a huge congratulations to pokerfool for a job well done and I'm just glad to have gotten to see and be a part of another blogger making the first mtt win of his poker career. Could we have another KOD in the making? Only time will tell.

And here is the updated 2007 MATH moneyboard showing all players who have cashed in the Mondays at the Hoy tournament at least once during this calendar year:

1. Bayne_s $1175
2. Columbo $1168
3. Hoyazo $1162
4. VinNay $775
5. cmitch $774
6. Iggy $745
7. NewinNov $677
8. Pirate Wes $672
9. Lucko21 $665
10. Waffles $650
11. Astin $616
12. Tripjax $561
13. IslandBum1 $527
14. RaisingCayne $522
15. Julius Goat $507
16. bartonf $492
16. mtnrider81 $492
18. PokerBrian322 $490
19. Chad $485
20. scots_chris $474
21. Fuel55 $458
22. Mike_Maloney $456
23. RecessRampage $434
24. Otis $429
25. Miami Don $402
26. jeciimd $382
26. Jordan $382
28. Blinders $379
29. lightning36 $371
30. ChapelncHill $353
31. Zeem $330
32. OMGitsPokerFool $324
33. oossuuu754 $312
34. leftylu $295
35. Emptyman $288
35. Wigginx $288
37. ScottMc $282
38. Fishy McDonk $277
39. Irongirl $252
39. Manik79 $252
41. Wippy1313 $248
42. swimmom95 $245
43. Byron $234
44. wwonka69 $216
45. Omega_man_99 $210
46. katiemother $209
47. Pushmonkey72 $208
48. Buddydank $197
49. Gary Cox 194
50. 23Skidoo $176
51. Surflexus $174
52. Santa Clauss $170
53. Iakaris $162
53. Smokkee $162
55. cemfredmd $156
55. NumbBono $156
57. lester000 $147
58. LJ $146
59. Heffmike $145
60. brdweb $143
61. DDionysus $137
62. Patchmaster $135
63. InstantTragedy $129
64. Ganton516 $114
65. Fluxer $110
66. hoops15mt $95
67. Gracie $94
67. Scurvydog $94
69. Shag0103 $84
70. crazdgamer $82
71. PhinCity $80
72. maf212 $78
73. Alceste $71
73. dbirider $71
75. Easycure $67
76. Rake Feeder $53

So no changes up at the top of the 2007 MATH moneyboard after Monday night's action, leaving myself, Bayne and Columbo still in a virtual $13-between-us tie atop the moneyboard heading into the 9th month of the year. Otherwise, pokerfool and Gary enter the moneyboard for the first time this week, bringing the running total of players who have cashed in the MATH this year to a total of 76. Tune in next week to see if the three-headed monster atop the current moneyboard finally gives way, or if another player strikes out with a big move to threaten the triumvirate of leaders.

So, back to my play last night. This whole week so far in fact since returning from the Hammer Family vacation to the Pennsylvania - South Jersey area to see family and friends. In a word, I have sucked. Ass. And it is highly frustrating to me, because as you know if you read here, I was on a major heater for almost the last two months straight before this weekend. I had won or cashed in probably a good 6 or 7 blonkaments since the end of the BBT, I had probably won a good 2 or 3k in cash games, and I had scored in a whole slew of mtt's to varying degrees in perhaps the longest run of great play of my online poker career. Poker was one of the most fun things I did all day, and I looked forward to sitting down that night through most of the day, right up to and through last week.

Then I went on vacation. And I didn't even think about poker for three days. I took a break right in the middle of one of the greatest poker streaks of my career, and now that I'm back, I've completely lost it. I sat down on Sunday night to two or three mtts, and boy did I donk it up in them. Technically, I got sucked out on in one of them, but then I monkeypushed after that when I surely had enough chips to start accumulating again instead. Then I tilted out of another tournament when my first one went south, and I ended the night by donking early out of another mtt, all the while feeling like something was just a little bit "off" with my game.

Monday night saw more of the same, as even though I got recockusucked out of the MATH early on when I should have doubled back to around 2500 with QQ against 75o allin preflop, I put myself in that position by donkeycalling off almost my entire stack with just the unimproved JackAce. Now how is that Hoyazo-style poker, can someone tell me? I similarly bounced fairly early from all of my other mtt's last night, and thanks to some nice cash gains at the 1-2 PLO tables and donktastic "full tilt pro" Lynette Chan I only managed to book a small loss for the day, but overall it was not a good day now for the second day in a row since returning from my vacation.

People often talk about taking a break to clear one's head, and that they always seem to come back refreshed and playing well after some time away from the game. I have consistently disputed that here on the blog and in other blogs' comments as it relates to my own personal game, and this weekend is a perfect example of why. I don't know about you out there in blog reader land, but for me, I most definitely play my best when I am playing every day, or close to it. What I need for optimal play is very consistent exposure to the games that I am looking to play my best in, and if I can play even just a little every night, that is the pattern that has led to my best performance streaks over time. For me, when I take time off, my game only gets worse. In this case, I totally muffed up a long, consistent streak of me playing my A game by disappearing from the game for three days. At other times when I've been running bad, I have taken time off and returned to an even rustier, even more downtrodden outlook on the game and on the variance that has often come for me to pay my dues to the poker gods. I know other people have many times touted the wonders and restorative powers of some time away from the game, and I fully believe that for them this solution has worked in the past, but for me my game suffers, my reads get that much worse, my judgment gets fiddled with, etc. when I am away from the game, and I tend to respond much better when I consistently face myself with the kinds of decisions one routinely runs into during the course of regular poker play.

One last thing for today -- this August has been incredibly mild in New York for the most part. I find myself wondering where all the global warming donkeys have gone this year, the same thing I find myself asking myself in at least half of the past 10 or 15 years since people started talking about global warming like one of the great evils of our times. I know at least a few bloggers who are all into the global warming thing, but until the people on that side of the fence realize that they've created a silly construct for themselves where they now claim that either a cold streak or a warm streak is evidence of global warming, I fear that they will continue to lose, not gain, customers for their cause over time in this country. The American people have shown time and time again that they are willing to buy into many a cause, but the logic behind that cause has to be there. You can't tell Americans when it gets warm one year that this is global warming, and then when it is cold every other year that that is global warming too, and expect to have a consistent following that motivates to get things changed. The bottom line is that the weather in this part of the world has not been consistently warmer over the past, say, ten years than in the ten years preceding that. It's basically the same -- some years are warmer than average, and plenty of years of late are cooler than average too. But the global warming donkeys can't have it both ways and expect to figure prominently in the minds of the people, the voters or the lawmakers in this country.

Not sure where that came from but I have been thinking it as the latter part of August has for the most part been mild and bearable here in the Big Apple. In any event, I do have a fantasy football draft on Tuesday night for the third of four leagues I am playing in this year, so that means I should be on the pc around my usual time. I bet that probably means another attempt at a fifth tier 2 token in my account in the 9:45pm ET token frenzy on full tilt, and maybe even a shot at the KOD's domain itself -- the 28k. I am really hoping to get myself back on track to where I was just a week ago in my poker game, so tonight I'm going to really focus on getting into the right mindset -- a winning mindset -- before I sit down to play, which I do think has been absent for the past couple of nights since returning from my vacay. Wish me luck, or else I'm back to being the deadest money at the table every time I sit down to play.

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Blogger Mike Maloney said...

You just collecting Tier II tokens for fun or are you actually going to use them some day? :)

Interesting to hear about what happens when you take a break. I've always heard (and do so myself) from other people that are more focused after taking a break from poker, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say it has the opposite effect.

I stuck around at the blogger table last night for you to take my money, but you timed out when your seat came up. Oh well, maybe next time.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Global warming, PETA, the ACLU, vegans, where does all the liberal alarmist bullshit end?

Yes we are all different but the best thing I ever did for my poker game was take time off. I cleared my head, found other interests, while I read and studied poker and I do believe I've come back as a better player.

11:54 PM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

I'm confused... what's a "break from poker?" That's just crazy talk. I imagine the quality of my game would take a decline after a few days off myself too, but I haven't even imagined taking a few days away from the felt so I suppose I don't have to think about. A break from poker!? Crazy...

Thanks for the shoutout, I appreciate the "honorable mention"... I did take the bloggerment bubble in the MATH last night. 4th place for $0. AND just last Wednesday I took the stupid bubble in the stupid Mookie too! FRUSTRATING! And yes, this was indeed my 4th final table in 5 MATH attempts. (One first place, one 2nd, one 4th, one 9th... and one 20-something.)

Good luck getting back into the rhythm of your game! I have no doubt you'll be back dominating the MTTs soon enough.

12:00 AM  
Blogger leftylu said...

Sorry Hoy, pushing that 75o was really stupid as there was no way you would fold no matter what you held. I think Global Warming is getting to me.

1:27 AM  

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