Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Mookie Curse?

As I've written much about here, I am on a raging hot streak of late, including especially in the blonkaments. In the latest Mookie tournament on Wednesday night, I continued this streak by reaching another blonkament final table in a row:

As you can see I am slightly in second place and well ahead of the other 7 players at the table. I played dumbo aggro early, losing half my stack on two silly bluffs that got called or where I was raised out of the hand, but then I decided to start playing Hoy poker and was able to slowly grind back a stack. I won a big hand late in the first hour where I called an allin reraise from a player I was not familiar with when I held just the JackAce. Yes, you read that right. I called an allin reraise from someone with the JackAce. I can't say what it was but I felt like I was racing and my opponent had the unfortunate timing to run into me when I was at my lowest in the tournament and thus cared the least about the prospect of racing to get back all of my lost chips. I hit a Jack on the turn and bested my opponent's pocket presto. Such is poker. I'll say this -- since you all know that when I'm the guy with the pair and the Jackace calls me , I lose in that spot with a frequency of probably 90-95%. So if you think I think it is sad, sorry, funny or even anything out of the ordinary that my JackAce won a 49% shot for me for once last night, then you don't know me very well. What would've been funny would be if I had finally decided to donk it up like the rest of 'em and called an allin myself with the Jackace, was up against a lower pocket pair and then I still managed to lose, this time as the Jackace instead of the pair which I usually am. That would have been funny and unbelievable to me. This? Standard.

Anyways, other than that I bluffed like mad and played a whole lot of shitty cards as is my usual practice in the Mookie, but I did these things in good spots. Although my reads are wrong sometimes, especially since I make decisions by those reads in most of the hands that I am playing, in general playing aggressive poker but never getting called in big spots with weak hands, I was able to consistently chip up through the second hour, busting a number of fellow players along the way.

As an aside and on this same topic, I really appreciate all of the comments I received yesterday on my bustout hand in the 15k rebuy mtt from the night before on full tilt. Yes my read was obviously dead wrong on that hand, but the commentary I received was worth more than any written explanation from me could possibly do, because it illustrates better than anything I could ever have said myself a crucially important poker point. Basically, I had pushed allin on the flop with big overbets on TPTK or better hands, all of which I was sure were best, probably five or six other times in the preceding hour or so at that table by the time this hand came up. The fact that a few of the commenters all fell for the bait that this overbet on my bustout hand somehow means I am weak is illustrative of why it is so important to mix up your bets. Because in reality these guys who automatically think that an overbet screams weakness, and therefore would have called me with any top pair, or even second pair, on an all-suited board, would have been busted by me about an hour earlier. And then again. And again. And again. See, poker is all about getting into people's heads. And because I know that many people will view the flop overbet as a desperate attempt at a push bet, I make use of it again and again as a pull bet where I know I'm ahead and I want to be called, including in that tournament where probably the last 40,000 of my 59,000-chip stack was won on flop overbets where I got called by worse hands. Poker is a beatiful thing. You just always need to be thinking one level ahead of your opponent(s) and you should be in good shape.

So anyways, back to the Mookie. That's all how I played my way to a nearly leading stack as the final table began this week. I played great at the final table, taking it typically slow at first and then making some big plays and huge resteals with air to push into the money bubble at 5th place, and then eventually to bust #5 to take a nice chip lead with just four players remaining.

Then the most amazing thing happened. I was dealt pocket Kings. At a final table.

This never happens for me. I had already been screaming in the girly chat for an hour to just give me one more premium hand in this entire tournament, and I will find a way to get an opponent allin with it. This has always been one of my strengths, and even though it has led to some recockulopolous beats as I've allowed other players to develop a hand late in an mtt, the overall payoffs to me with final table premium hands have been hugely positive. So here I am with pocket Kings. When the action folded to me in the small blind, I put in a pot-raise, representing a steal and hoping to get some action from leftylu in the big blind who I know knows how aggressively I play, especially in this spot. I get just what I want -- leftylu moves allin quickly, and here I am with pocket Kings calling allin as the chip leader with four left in the elusive Mookie tournament, and the allin I am calling is coming from the second-place stack at the time. When I win this hand I'm going to be about 2-1 over second place and 10-1 over third place left in this thing. And I'm going to win. Finally. My first Mookie. This is it:

and here is the glorious final board:

Nice flop, huh? So that's how I went from dominating to done in the Mookie, getting someone allin preflop with me against my pocket Kings. Two hands later I was out, my third cash in a month at the Mookie which is always nice, but I've been thinking about it. I've decided that my $44 cash in the Mookie this week can lick my ballz. And congrats to leftylu for surviving the short-lived clash with my pocket Kings and then going on to win the tournament, yet another player with a Mookie victory while I have none.

I'll never win a Mookie. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm cursed with the Mookie. I've won everything else in the world I would like to win. And I've been close now with the Mookie on three separate occasions, all three of which saw me a significant favorite to either win or take a significant lead with just a few players remaining. One time it was my JJ losing to some other clown's 88 allin with 3 players left and me in second place. Last week it was Surf hitting that 6-outer on the river after I had spiked a Jack on the turn when he was allin in heads-up play. This week it's my pocket Kings losing allin to the second place player's A8 when I had a chip lead already with four players left. This shit is painful. So I ask you: Am I really cursed in the Mookie?

In support of this argument, I offer up these non scientifical calculations:

In Mondays at the Hoy, I would estimate that I have cashed for around $1700 during the lifetime of this event over about 14 months. At an average buyin of around $23 (given the midway switch from pokerstars $20 to full tilt $26), let's say I've played in roughly 52 MATH tournaments. That is $1196 spent, and $1700 won for a total net profit of around $500 from the MATH tournament over its lifetime and my lifetime playing in it almost every week. This equates to a profit of around 25 tournament buyins won from this event over time.

In Riverchasers, which runs every other week on Thursdays (I never play the Sunday afternoon events), I have posted two wins and I think four cash finishes for a total cash of around $500 over probably 13 tournaments. At $10 a pop, that is $130 spent and $500 won, for a total net profit of around $370 from the Riverchasers tournament as a whole. This equates to a profit of around 37 tournament buyins won from this event over time.

In the Big Game, which only runs once a month and sports that delicious $75 buyin, I estimate I have played 7 times for a total expenditure of $525. I finished in second place in the second Big Game held on full tilt earlier this year, and I came in second again on July 1 on the final event of the BBT calendar. Then I took down August's Big Game entirely for my third cash in 7 tries in this tournament, giving me total winnings here of around $1650, or a total profit of around $1100 from this tournament. This equates to a profit of around 15 tournament buyins won from this event over time.

So let's review real quick here. In the Hoy, the Riverchasers and the Big Game I am up a net of $500, $370 and $1100 respectively, for a total profit of over $1800 during the lifetime of these three respective events. When you take the WAC (weighted average cost of capital) for these three events, weighting them for the frequency of the buyins -- i.e. taking into account that the MATH is weekly, the RC is bi-weekly and the Big Game is monthly -- you get an adjusted average buyin of nearly $29 per tournament, meaning that I have won, on average, 62 buyins per tournament throughout the entire lifetime of these three events. Who says the blonkaments can't be profitable, right?

Now look at the Mookie. This one has been going on longer than the other three events by a few months, so I've played in the most of them. Since I was there from the beginning and I try to play almost every week (except during Lost season, of course) I would estimate that I have bought in to probably around 70 Mookie tournaments, for a total expenditure of $770. With my few top-three finishes and probably only 5 or 6 other cashes total in this event (most of them not this year, btw), I would estimate total cashouts from the Mookie for me at around $350. This means that I have a net loss of $420 in the Mookie over the lifetime of that tournament, or a loss of 42 freakin Mookie buyins over time in just 70 events. Wow.

Now, it's not at all that I'm trying to say that I am simply too great at poker to have gone through losing 42 tournament buyins in this one event over the past couple of years. Rather, just look at the differential between my performance in the Mook and that in all of the other big blonkaments out there. I win an aggregate of 62 buyins per tournament in the Hoy, the RC and the Big Game -- which all together I have probably played almost the same number of times as I have played the Mookie alone, but in the Mookie for some reason I lose more than 40 buyins over time, while I win more than 60 buyins over time in the other half of the events put together.

What does this all mean? Am I really cursed in the Mookie? Trust me when I say that there are no external stimuli on Wednesday nights or something that make me not devote my full attention or anything like that. I never really have any distractions when I play any poker online in the evenings, and that goes just the same for Wednesdays as any other day. Yes Lost was on during part of the Mookie run this past Spring, but to be honest I barely played in the Mookie during that run to avoid any distraction issues. If anything, Sundays are clearly the night where I have the most distractions because it's the one night of the week when The Sopranos and Entourage have usually been running in my bedroom while I am trying to focus on the games. And there I have won the most money in the Big Game, not the least. So that's not it.

Is it that the competition is just better in the Mookie for some reason than in the other blonkaments? Ha ha.

It's not even that I don't play well in the Mookie. Just look at the past few weeks, where each time I've been in position to win but somehow have taken the brunt of lady luck and been beaten by a fairly significant longshot in a spot where I am likely otherwise going to win the tournament. What makes me play these hands the way that I do? What makes this keep happening to me week in and week out in the Mookie tournament?

So I ask again, am I cursed in the Mookie or what?

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Blogger cmitch said...

Cursed!! Cursed!!

9:45 PM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

Maybe Mookie rigged it.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

I doubt you're cursed. This whole thing seems much more like a hex, though there are elements that suggest a jinx or even bad juju.

Have you considered the possibility that the Mook takes place on a Bizzaro server, or perhaps in some parallel reality?

Or maybe this will be an M. Night Shamaylan sort of deal, where only at the end will we find out that you were . . . DRAWING DEAD ALL ALONG! AND YOU DIDN'T KNOW IT. OMG OMG WHAT A TWIST.

Ahem. Or it could be gremlins. Whenever I'm in a situation like this, I always check under the sofa cushions for gremlins.

10:37 PM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Yes. You're cursed. I believe it's voodoo-related... there's someone out there, probably either Mookie (or maybe Waffles) that made a Hoyazo voodoo doll. Each Wednesday evening the doll is prodded with crappy cards, and sometimes teased with monsters. "Nuts" are placed in the doll's hand, just to have them taken away moments later. A small donkey doll is used to bend over voodoo Hoy and...

Seriously though, good game last night Hoy! You can't win 'em all. And after taking me out of the MATH AND THE MOOKIE this week, I was rooting against you myself! (I made identical DUMB plays against you at BOTH final tables.) Took down the Dookie though... so I've got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Better luck next week...

11:24 PM  
Blogger Chad C said...

You're to good to beat those idiots....

11:39 PM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

The Riverchasers usually exhibits even greater donkery than the high levels of donkery that the Mookie exhibits.

But it does seem like FullTilt's RNG is set for donkey reward nights. They could have a flaw where Wednesday Night's and Sunday afternoons are donkey reward periods at a greater frequency.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Even I can win a fawking mookie and I have only played it about 8 or 10 times.

12:06 AM  
Blogger jamyhawk said...

LOL. I think you took me out two Mookies in a row. Congrats cashing again.

You are what you think you are...

1:11 AM  
Blogger leftylu said...

Sorry Hoy, I was just making a push bet that I learned about on your blog. You play too well not to win it soon.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

No apologies needed, lefty, and congrats on a nice win. I'm just frustrated with the late beats recently. Story of my poker life, come to think of it. I probably won't see pocket Kings or Aces at a final table again for another year.

2:15 AM  
Blogger 4dbirds said...

Although my play doesn't alway reflect it, my feet are firmly planted in the reality based world. I don't believe in curses. Superior play will eventually get rewarded even if you have to go through donks like me.

4:25 AM  
Blogger WillWonka said...

Bluffed alot... I don't doubt it.. There was one hand I really, really, wanted to call your allin with only 2nd pair..

You had limped preflop. With an Ace on the board, I just couldn't call; but I think you bluffed me there.

5:04 AM  
Blogger yabi said...

There is no greater win then one that comes from failure. When you finally take down the Mookie, and you will eventually, I believe you will feel it's one of your greatest victories in your poker career. Not for any other reason then the fact you finally triumph an accomplishment you set out for, and worked extremely hard to achieve.

You will get there!

12:57 AM  
Blogger Zachary said...

Just out of curiosity, do you know what happened to KOD's blog?

7:37 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Zachary, the KOD is in da house, you can follow the link from my blogroll. He just changed the name and address of the blog is all.

8:35 PM  
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