Thursday, August 09, 2007

River Unkind in FTOPS #1 Cash

Wow. A whole lot to get to today and absolutely no time to get to it thanks to ongoing work tiltage. Man I cannot wait for my extra long weekend beach trip that commences Friday morning when we jump in the car and head for the house on the beach. I will be away through Monday evening, so even though I always like to post while I am away, my track record at such times has not been great. Rest assured even if you do not hear from me again until next week, I will be back and better than ever on Tuesday, refreshed to begin another streak of daily musings posted for your viewing pleasure.

My first big announcement today relates to something I have posted about recently, and that is the biggest-ever poker tournament scores for other bloggers. As I've said previously, that kinda shit is what I am all about when it comes to our community here, and I am pleased to have more news on that front to bring you today. Ask yourself this question: what's the biggest single tournament score that any of the female bloggers in our group have ever come up with? I spent a lot of time on this point and I think this one takes the cake. Last night, a favorite new blogger of mine took 3rd place in the 32k guaranteed afternoon nlh tournament on full tilt, raking in a cool $4700+ for her efforts, easily her largest ever poker win. Who is this blogger you may ask? Well, her name is LJ and she's been blogging for quite some time actually. In addition to this huge win on Wednesday evening, LJ also cashed in the Ladies' event at the World Series of Poker this past summer in her first ever WSOP appearance. LJ is a lawyer like me, and like me she was forced to stay home from work on Wednesday due to NYC-wide transit failures caused by severe storms early in the morning hours. Which of course, like me, meant a day full of online pokery goodness. Before she knew it $8 turned into a winning satellite into the $163 buyin 32k tournament at 3pm ET, and then 5 1/2 hours later, it became $4700 and change for a 3rd place finish out of 280-some runners. Go stop by LJ's blog and congratulate her on a job very, very well done. LJ definitely has the aggression gene working in her game, and it can be really fun to watch someone like that when they are "on" at the tables, where I'm sure this is just the first of many scores for us to see in the future. Wtg LJ!

Secondly, allow me to congratulate MiamiDon on taking down I think his 36th Mookie title of 2007. That guy is unreal. I've won I think 6 MATH and Riverchasers titles this year, but I don't think I've even cashed more than one time this entire year in maybe 16 or 17 Mookie tournaments, and Don wins this thing every month. Sick. Wtg Don.

Next I want to turn my attention to the FTOPS. The Full Tilt Online Poker Series V began on Wednesday night with a $216 buyin nlh tournament with a 500k guarantee. In the end this was far and away the biggest field I've ever seen to start an FTOPS, and quite possibly the biggest field ever for an FTOPS tournament as far as I know, with 4,165 runners vying for payouts which would began with 585th place. There were at least six bloggers in attendance in this thing -- myself, LJ, KOD, goat, cmitch and Alan -- and I believe KOD was the first of us to go out, somewhere in the first hour I'm sure to one of the callmonkeys who can't lay down top pair shit kicker to significant action early in a large mtt. Things started off slow as ballz for me, as I got no cards to speak of for basically the first two hours of the tournament, and basically lasted patiently well into the second hour before starting to steal some pots to lift my stack above the starting level of 3000 chips.

Around two hours in to the tournament, I finally picked up my first premium hand of pocket Aces, and went on to play a huge pot when I elected to just smooth call here:

and then was faced with this sweet decision after the flop:

I had already decided I was likely ahead of any raise-calling holdings these people were likely to have preflop, so I moved allin and got called, bringing me to this situation:

which I count as me needing to dodge 12 outs twice (2 Kings, 3 Queens and 7 other diamonds other than the Qd and the Ad in my own hand). So I am a slight, slight favorite for the triple-up here. Of course, the 5d fell immediately on the turn, the first of many key suckouts against me on this night, but then a glorious fourth diamond hit on the river, making me the nut four-flush for the resuck, the only time I was able to come back from a suckout against me on the night and winning me a huge pot in the process:

Here I entered the top 10% of the field of approximately 1200 players left after two hours of play, with 2900-some donkeys already eliminated in just the first two rounds.

Unfortunately for me, the suckouts like what almost happened to me on that hand were far too commonplace on Wednesday for me to ever amass a huge stack. I vaulted up here on a hand I got all the money in with ahead and where neither player should ever have been calling allin in that spot anyways, and that was really very indicative of my play on the night. I was so on, about as on as I ever get at the poker tables, and almost every read and every move worked out just as I had hoped. I think over about four hours of play, I got caught -- reraised when I had been steal-raising with a hand I could not call a reraise with -- maybe two times total. Otherwise, I probably made moves with air at 40 or 50 pots, and I won every single time. I was clicking on all cylinders, folding my garbage to reraises and getting paid off well with my big hands. And yet, no matter what I did, no matter how good my reads and no matter how far ahead I was when the money got in, something kept happening all through the tournament, again and again and again to me, that would prevent me from climbing into the really big stacks left in the event. It was honestly one of the more frustrating nights of poker I have had in some time. I'll show you what I mean.

Here is a guy in the third hour doing the allin raggy flop bet, which I seem to pick off all the time as a bluff in the big online mtts:

I called his ass, and I had him drawing to 10 outs twice, which he could not possibly have known were all outs when he put his money in on the flop there:

In any event I was about a 60-40 favorite with two cards to come, and if my favorite and my solid read holds on here I am into the top 12 of the remaining players in the tournament.

Instead, inside straight fills on the river, so blechy:

This one knocks me back down from 24k to just over 16k. A third of my stack gone, and I had to regroup and rebuild my stack before it was able to get really big.

About 40 minutes later or so, I had built my stack back up to over 33k, around the highest I had been thus far in the event, when I once again ran into a brick wall with a huge hand thanks to an unkind river. I played the soooted JackAce from the small blind into a multiway pot, and called a too-small halfpot bet on the QQ3 flop with the nut flush draw. When my flush filled on the turn, I checked the action, intending on check-raising, and my opponent checked behind which sucked for me. But I like the move -- with a pot the size of my opponent's stack already, and with a seemingly non-scary QQ3 board, the odds of the guy betting out there are significantly high in my experience to warrant the check here. I already had the nut flush so I'm not the least bit worried about another diamond hitting the board on the river (that would be great actually, if he has the soooted King or something similar in diamonds), so I think the check is actually the most +EV move in that spot which is why I did it, but in that case he checked behind, and the river brought a low fourth diamond, which I absolutely loved since I held the Ace but the odds were now higher than my opponent had a high flush as well.

This time I was not about to check again with the nut flush on a 4-flush board, so I bet out half the pot, which my opponent thought about for a few seconds and then raised me allin:

and then check out what happened on the river here:

Fucking gross. Thank you, river. And go ahead, blame my turn check. I love that Monday morning garbage. The turn check was the better move here; what this is is good old-fashioned riverfuckage, the second time now in this tournament when I had a big stack borderlining to grow huge, but instead here once again I am knocked back down from 33k to 21k. And now I was pissed. A couple of hands later saw us move into the money payout positions as player #586 was eliminated, so I had cashed once again in my first FTOPS tournament since my huge run and about $4000 in total cashes in FTOPS IV last May.

After this second big crushing, I somehow managed to regain some semblance of composure during the third break and stole a bunch more pots early in the fourth hour whenever I sensed weakness, not getting caught at all. At some point goat girly chatted to tell me he had busted, somewhere in the 300s but a nice solid cash nonetheless given the huge size of the field in this event. Eventually, with my stack still sitting around 22k, I found my second premium hand, another pocket Aces, and more than that, some donkass mfidiot pushed allin ahead of me with this gem of a hand to push from EP with:

Brilliant. So here I go, I'm about 85% or whatever to jump to nearly 60k, once again into the top 10 of the now 350 or so remaining players. Check out that river unkind, popping up again:

Boooooooom! Ever wondered how to keep me out of the end game of a large mtt when I amass a big stack early and am at my most dangerous? Suck out three huge rivers against me for a total of about 75k in chips lost, at a time when my stack size never got above 33k as a result. That shiat'll work every single time. If any one of those three favorites holds up for me in this event, I am into the top 10 or 15 total players, and I am set up awesomely for a seriously deep run. Instead, I just could not get out of my own way -- I kept getting in ahead, I kept laying great reads and trusting in them and putting my money where my mouth was. I kept getting in dominatingly ahead, but just kept getting scrooged at the river. All I did in FTOPS #1 was get my chips in ahead, and again and again and again I had nothing much to show for it. Very effing frustrating, let me tell you.

So frustrating, in fact, that just a few hands later when the action folded to me in the small blind and I once again found my stack at around 20k in chips -- after I felt like I had doubled up about four times from that spot already not counting the horrifying rivers I was pelted with all night -- I pushed allin with ATC. I got insta-called by the big blind with the JackAce, and well we all know how my hands tend to hold up against the JackAce. So, IGH in 300th place out of 4165 entrants for a total payout of $416.50. It wasn't much in actual cash, and certainly not compared to what I won 3 or 4 times in the last FTOPS, but on the good side, dam did I play awesome, awesome poker in this thing. It's a shame that work and family obligations will keep me from playing most of the FTOPS this time around, but I'm looking forward to my next chance which will be this Friday night in FTOPS Event #3, the pot-limit holdem tournament with also a $216 buyin. And congratulations to cmitch, outlasting all the bloggers to start FTOPS V with a 112th place finish in FTOPS #1, good for $761 and change to one of the best poker playing bloggers out there.

It was a strong showing overall for the blogging community to begin the biggest regular tournament series available on the best online poker site available in the United States (or anywhere, as far as I'm concerned). Personally, I made good money on the night so in that sense that always has to be counted as a very good thing, but yet I left the thing last night feeling much more frustrated and negative than positive to tell the truth. Even this morning I woke up with these same feelings of frustration still nagging at me, because I know in my heart that if I had won any one of those three favorite hands, I was going to make another really big score here. I know I've said this about a million times here on the blog, but for me there is almost nothing worse than totally outplaying a guy, duping him into betting his entire stack at you, or correctly reading him and calling when you're ahead on the flop or turn, and then still having the shit effed away from you on the river even despite your superior play. That was me last night. I did bluff I think twice into strong hands, both of which as I mentioned above I quickly abandoned for a small (insignificant) loss, but otherwise it was not a single mistake, not a single misread, and not a single time when the money got in and I was behind, until my elimination hand. And despite the three or four suckouts against me, I did not get the benefit of a single suckout in my favor at all in the event, other than a small hand where I had pot odds to call two shorties allin ahead of me before the flop with some crappy sooooted donk hand, J5s or something like that. But the luck factor was just staunchly against me throughout FTOPS #1, and cashing in 300th place, making more than double the buyin and, frankly, about 4x the money that I personally spent qualifying for this tournament is a good thing. Any time I outlast 3800-some of my closest online donkey friends, I suppose that is something to be proud of. But man, what could have been....

Don't forget the latest Riverchasers tournament tonight on full tilt, sponsored as always by Al. It is at 9pm ET on full tilt as always, with the password of "riverchasers". I will try to make it there tonight, though my plans for the evening are, like on Wednesday, somewhat up in the air at this point due to ongoing work obligations as I prepare for a few days away, unplugged and completely off the map from a work involvement perspective. But while you're bashing some donkeys in the Riverchasers tonight, be sure to check in on fellow bloggers KOD, jeciimd and any others who are playing in FTOPS Event #2 in HORSE with a $216 buyin tonight also on full tilt. These guys can both play all the HORSE games, so either is always a threat to make some noise in one of these things. I will be checking on their progress as soon as I am able to log on tonight, and you should support the group as well by doing the same. Otherwise, I will be on on Friday night from the beach for FTOPS Event #3 in pot-limit holdem, so you can look for me over the weekend even though I will technically be away and I don't usually play poker while on vacation. For the FTOPS, of course, we can make some exceptions.

Have a good and profitable weekend everyone.

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Blogger cmitch said...

No sick. I was wondering what you had on the hand where that guy caught the full house on the river.

MrSmokey1's suckout with K9 vs. AA was so brutal it wasn't even funny. It almost put me on tilt watching it happen to you.

I sense a big score coming your way soon. FTOPS #3 maybe?

11:14 PM  
Blogger lj said...

dude, those suckouts blow. but you still have many more ftops and once of these tournaments your hands will hold up and you will kill. thanks for the shout out -- you were an awesome railer/girlie chatter, and a huge help.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

Nice play last night. I watched for a while, you really had it going. Sucks the cards just weren't in your favor.

I've started referring to it as 'having a Hoy moment' when I call someone's all-in knowing what they have and getting sucked out on afterwards, if it makes you feel any better. It probably doesn't though.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Instant Tragedy: Just Add Sean said...

Full Tilt is RIGGED!

Man, I feel for ya Hoy!

I wanted to say
"Aussie, Aussie, HOY HOY HOY" All night long.


I agree withc Cmitch, tribulations early can only bring glory in the end.

Continue to kick ass!


12:01 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Wicked. Just wicked. I was watching at the time, but it looks harsher by light of day.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So thats how donkeys win bracelets? K9 rules. Freakin' tournament donks.

Nice run dispite the bad luck.

Enjoy your trip.

1:32 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

good job last night hoy. I watched most of the time last night. I can understand the frustration with all these horrid suckouts, but you have to remember two things:
1) You always got it in with the best hand.
2) Fighting it out with 4000+ donkeys is never going to be easy and not only do you need to get lucky, but you have to NOT get unlucky.

I didn't understand why you shoved into the big stack with 82o. Obviously it was some serious tilt, but you still had enough chips to find a better spot. You are putting your tournament life at stake and were a 63%-to-36% underdog against a RANDOM hand. I would say that was the biggest mistake of the night.

1:41 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

mrsmokey1 = steve billarakis = youngest bracelet winner ever = complete tourney donk.

that's a sick hand man, nice run anyway though. i'll expect to see you at the final table in your next event.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Hoy, I don't know if you listened to BuddyDank radio but I said on there last night that just watching your play, you're a freakin machine.

Just watching, I could tell that you were making moves left and right. I think I have decent reads but not necessarily act on them at times. You clearly do. Great work man. It's always a pleasure watching your game.

2:04 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

well played Hoy. it sux to play a tournament where it seems like the deck is stacked against you. good thing most of your steal attempts worked otherwise, you couldn't have made it that far.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

You know whats great? MrSmokey is awesome player, can't believe he did that to you! He only won a bracelet at the WSOP this year just after turning 21. Also he has like a million wins on line pre-21 years of age. You have to get lucky to win sometimes I guess, just sucks he did that to Hoy. Everyone loves to hate on him, annete_15, bax etc. But obviously these guys have it all figured out and get lucky when they have to. Shitty way to go though Hoy, I hope your luck changed for next week. Are you going to try to satellite into Mondays $1K 6-max?

4:10 AM  
Blogger Pseudo_Doctor said...

congrats on the cash the other night hoy..

10:12 PM  

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