Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MATH Recap, and Playing a Maniac Part II

Twenty-three runners came out and played in Mondays at the Hoy on Monday night at 10pm ET on full tilt, representing close to our usual slate of donkeys in what would prove to be a much donkier tournament even than usual with lots of highly risky, highly aggro and highly bullshit play across the board. As usual I started off slow, but amazingly picked up AA utg in the earlygoing. Having just taken down two consecutive pots on blind steals with air, I opted to limp utg with the Aces, a move that I have used to significant gain over time despite it seeming to me to be fairly obvious of a monster hand whenever anyone limp-raises from utg. Two players limped after me as well from middle position -- not good for me, but not a huge problem because I know I have to lay down the Aces to any real pressure once the flop is out unless I nail it. Such is the price of trying to limp with Aces once in a while, and if you're not someone who can lay 'em down when you think you're beat, then you can't take the chance of ever limping with them in the first place. Just raise instead. As far as I'm concerned, you can never, ever go wrong by raising with pocket Aces preflop in no-limit holdem.

Anyways, so I limped utg, two others limped from middle position, and then skidoo raised about 5x from near the button. Bingo! This is exactly why you limp Aces utg, especially in a blonkament, and at this point I am not a fan of smooth calling, which is a move I like quite a bit with Aces from other positions when I happen to get reraised preflop. But having limped utg, invariably the other player already does not put me on a hand, so I can typically re-reraise with impunity and still expect to get called. Especially me, with the image I have among the blonkeys. So I reraised skidoo's bet by a good 4 or 5x, and he calls to my delight. The flop came Queen high and I checked since the pot was already a bit larger than ski's already short stack, and I figured he would have to make a move at it with anything. Other than QQ there is just nothing else I am reasonably behind here, and I can't put the guy on QQ at this point in the hand. So I checked the flop, and to my slight surprise Ski checked behind.

The turn brought a Jack, which I didn't love because I was now behind QJ as well as QQ or JJ, but in the end I simply still could not put ski on one of those three hands. The QJ most likely doesn't even call my re-reraise or even reraise preflop, so really what I was worried about was QQ or JJ, both hands that are consistent with ski's preflop play. Nonetheless, I found those to be unlikely holdings considering the odds, so I found the patience to check it again on the turn. Of course I'm asking for trouble to all you weak tight fonkeys, but the playas out there will know exactly what I was doing. And doing well, might I add. This time after seeing me check the flop and the turn, ski was physically compelled to push allin. I instacalled as my plan had worked, and ski flips up...KJo. So we're looking at second pair Jacks with a King kicker. Obviously not worth raising the limpers with preflop, and surely a bad play to call my big re-reraise, but there ya go.

King on the river, and I'm never able to recover. IGH a short while later in 17th place of 23 runners. So it goes in the blonkaments. If you're not pushing in all your chips in big, silly overbets on every single street, then you risk being outdrawn. Even when you have the presence of mind and the patience to wait until after the turn card is out to make the large bets, the full tilt rng is simply not going to be your friend as often as it should. And that's what makes winning these blonkaments so dam difficult for just about anybody. The better you are at getting the money in ahead, sometimes it seems the harder it is for you to survive these things because there's basically always going to be someone there paying to draw at razor-thin odds. It really is unreal how bad some of the plays I saw in the first hour on Monday night were, but I guess that's what makes the MATH so much fun for so many people, and certainly it's what makes it such a profitable game for me and a few others over the year+ I've been running it now. But dam if that didn't piss my ass off on Monday night. I've always said it, but there's nothing worse than pwning some guy's ass on a particular hand and then still getting sucked out on in the end. Because when I'm even waiting until after the turn card to execute on my mindfux against my opponents, it's working and then I'm still losing to the 5-outer on the river, there's just not much you can do about that. 89% with one card to come to take another big chip lead early in the MATH. Can you tell I'm still annoyed? Grrrr.

As usual, the MATH tournament actually continued even after my untimely and certainly unwarranted demise, and like every week there was some strong play as the final table set in and we worked our way down to the top 3 finishers who would receive the cash on the night. Even though there were as many suckouts and overall worse donkeycallery than I can recall at any recent MATH tournament, in the end the guys who made the cash were very deserving and played hard all the way to get there. I did see pocket Aces cracked a good five times myself during the tournament, my hand above only being one of those times, so kudos to our three cashers who managed to survive the bullshit and take down the prizes in this week's Hoy tournament:

In third place this week, playing in one of his first MATH tournaments in some time, was everyone's favorite presto player Fuel55. Fuel won $110 for his night's performance. In 2nd place this week, winning $165.60, was a relative newcomer to the MATH tournament, jimdniacc. Jim said at the final table that he used to write a poker blog but now has little time for that due to being a student and a college golf player. And the man who took down this week's MATH tournament, who overcame a 2-to-1 chip deficit heads-up against Jim after a marathon hu session, the man who just announced a few days ago that he would be pulling a Barry Greenstein and donating all his poker winnings over the next six weeks or so to charity, is Byron aka bdidde. Fittingly for the end of this particular tournament, Byron ended things and won $276 in the process when his KJs sucked out a sick runnerrunnerrunner flush against Jim's pocket Aces. So congratulations to all three of this week's cashers, including jimdniacc making his first appearance on the moneyboard for the year.

And here is the updated 2007 MATH moneyboard, taking into account this week's Mondays at the Hoy tournament:

1. Bayne_s $1175
2. Columbo $1168
3. Hoyazo $1162
4. RaisingCayne $1110
5. Pirate Wes $792
6. VinNay $775
7. cmitch $774
8. Iggy $745
9. NewinNov $677
10. Lucko21 $665
11. Waffles $650
12. IslandBum1 $642
13. Astin $616
14. Fuel55 $568
15. Tripjax $561
16. Byron $510
17. Julius Goat $507
18. bartonf $492
18. mtnrider81 $492
20. PokerBrian322 $490
21. Chad $485
22. scots_chris $474
23. Emptyman $461
24. Mike_Maloney $456
25. RecessRampage $434
26. Otis $429
27. Surflexus $402
27. Miami Don $402
29. jeciimd $382
29. Jordan $382
31. Blinders $379
32. lightning36 $371
33. ChapelncHill $353
34. Zeem $330
35. LJ $326
36. OMGitsPokerFool $324
37. oossuuu754 $312
38. leftylu $295
39. Wigginx $288
40. ScottMc $282
41. Fishy McDonk $277
42. Irongirl $252
42. Manik79 $252
44. Wippy1313 $248
45. swimmom95 $245
46. wwonka69 $216
47. Omega_man_99 $210
48. katiemother $209
49. Pushmonkey72 $208
50. Buddydank $197
51. Gary Cox 194
52. 23Skidoo $176
53. Santa Clauss $170
54. jimdniacc $166
55. Iakaris $162
55. Smokkee $162
57. cemfredmd $156
57. NumbBono $156
58. lester000 $147
60. Heffmike $145
61. brdweb $143
62. Mookie $137
62. DDionysus $137
64. Patchmaster $135
65. InstantTragedy $129
66. Ganton516 $114
67. Fluxer $110
68. hoops15mt $95
69. Gracie $94
69. Scurvydog $94
71. wormmsu $91
72. Shag0103 $84
73. crazdgamer $82
74. PhinCity $80
75. maf212 $78
76. Alceste $71
76. dbirider $71
78. Easycure $67
79. Rake Feeder $53

Now back to the hand I posted about yesterday. To recap, I limped utg at a 2-4 6max nlh cash table with AQo, specifically in hopes of catching the uberdrunkaggrodonkey in the small blind who had moved basically his entire stack in at various points in probably 4 of the first 5 hands he sat down to play with. The button raised it up to $22, which may target donkey in the small blind just called, and action was back to me in the following situation:

I asked what you would do here. Some of you said fold, which I think is a perfectly acceptable position to take, and one which over time in general is probably a good strategy to follow with a hand as vulnerable as AQ against a reraiser and a caller of that reraise. But here's the thing, as I think Mike Maloney points out well in his comment -- I was hoping to get the donkey into a big pot against a hand where he would underestimate my holding due to my utg limp with a strong AQ, and that's exactly what happened, so why would I fold now? Of course the button player getting involved was not exactly foreseen by me, but he could easily have been making a position play, and in any event I had underplayed my hand for a reason and at this point I simply could not find the reason to believe I was behind either hand necessarily, certainly not more than a coin flip in any event. So I was not going to fold in this spot, and I have enough faith in my postflop play that I believed I could navigate some potentially tough flop action to correctly figure out where I was. And I simply could not escape the feeling that the donkey was in here again with nothing good, but would not want to lay it down as he had not shown himself able so far in his first five hands in my table.

So once I decided to stay in this pot, I think the right move was for me to reraise. Again, my objective all along was to get heads-up with the disguised best hand against this uber aggro donkey mofo, and a nice-sized reraise here seemed like my best bet, hoping that the button was in fact just making a position play. 6max can be like that, in particular above the microlimits, and position plays like this or fairly common among the better players at the levels I play. Again, I am definitively not recommending that others play AQ in the way I played it here. This is simply a story of how I tried to target an uberdonk and aggressively take his chips before what I estimated was just a few hands before someone else did exactly that. So I found a hand with great showdown value, underplayed it, got the donkey in for enough chips to maybe be worth his while, and now I wanted to go for the kill when I sensed the opportunity:

The button paused for some time, but eventually did this, which pleased me:

I was even more pleased when my target donkey just called my preflop reraise in this spot. Trust me when I tell you, given what I'd seen him do in just five hands so far and how he played those hands, the fact that he didn't just move it all in there before the flop told me all I needed to know about his hand -- he didn't have shiat.

So the flop comes down T62 rainbow. I'm thinking my AQ is probably in decent shape here against his expected hand range, which is just about anything but the good hands, with which he surely would have re-reraised allin preflop, trust me. While I'm considering my next move, donkeyboy busts out with this badboy:

So, I've gotten exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to get into a pot with this donkey who had gotten all of his chips into the middle in four of the first five hands since he sat down to the table. I swear I can smell the alcohol on his breath even though I'm not physically near him and in fact don't even know where he is. It was probably 2am ET at this point, and the way this guy was playing I just knew he was fixing to lose his entire stack, and everything I did so far in this pot was designed to get heads-up with him and have him commit his stack like he had in the four previous hands. Well now he did it. Do you call with the AQ unimproved here?

Tomorrow, The Conclusion.

Btw don't think I've gone soft on anyone here -- I have a ton to write about the sports world and the NFL from this past weekend, but things just keep coming up in my poker game that are more pressing, blogwise. I'll get to that stuff. Suffice it to say that I had another huge night at the 2-4 6max cash tables, winning another few buyins in one of the best cash streaks of my online poker playing career, so it's all good on that front. And of course, we can't forget my new feature on the blog for this week:

Phillies Playoff Chances Meter: Still 5%. Don't believe the hype.

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Blogger bayne_s said...

Why are 4 of 5 players at table green coded in your notes?

What do the notes say?

In general I hate calling with an unimproved AQ as his play is consistent with little pair or AT.

This donkey being as active as he was likely firing any flop. I hit the time request pour a shot and then I would call and pray he didn't have AT.

1:45 AM  
Blogger iamhoff said...

He's got connectors, 78, 89, 9T, or maybe a medium strong 10. Bayne's right, he could be on AT or a smaller pair, but if he's as aggro as you say, if he had a reasonably decent hand (like a pair, s00ted paint or a medium-strong ace) it sounds like he would've shoved instead of smooth-calling your raise. He might have hit TP, but I think he's on a str8 draw and trying to protect it. But what the hell do I know. Can't wait for the conclusion...

1:52 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

A10? If this guy is as retarded as Hoy makes him out to be, A10 woulda shoved preflop. I would instacall here. Why wouldn't you? You got everything you asked for in this hand.
1) isolate to be HU against a donkey
2) Be in a big pot against this aggro maniac.
3) Have a decent hand against this maniac.

Again, I only say this because it's against this particular player and I'm not advocating overplaying AQ.

So, I would instacall. If he gets lucky and wins, you know he's one of those hit n runners and I'll just go to bed.

2:03 AM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

Gah, no need to call here. If that was a donkament maybe but I hate making calls when all I'm beating is a bluff in cash games. Wait for a better spot.

2:08 AM  
Blogger lj said...

based on everything you've written in this and previous post, you have to call and i suspect you did. i saw a hand recently where a guy w/ KQ bet huge on a bluff, so he could easily have something like that or KJ, or the AT or sc suggested by others. who the hell knows. but i think you call here, since this was essentially the outcome you desired from the beginnning of the hand.

even if your overs are not good, as i suspect they may be, you still have outs to win the hand, and if he has flopped a set w/ a baby pair then that is just terrible luck for you.

2:17 AM  
Blogger L'artiste said...

We're not really sure our outs are clean. This moron could have made this move with A-6, Q-10, A-10, A-2, etc.

Put your position to use and fold this hand right now. Your hand still might be the best but making those kind of speculative calls are -EV in the long run. Wait for a better spot.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:05 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

Hoy's thought process:

"Well, this would be a perfect example for my blog of how to play air against a drunken donkey when I don't think he has anything."

Therefore you called so you could see his hand and get the screenshot.

I haven't read anything about it, so I'll go with... call drunk donkey boy.

3:07 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

The fact that he pushed means he doesn't have a monster, but I still think he could have us beat. I don't call, but I'm not a super aggro monster monkey like you.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

A gross situation - now I am glad I folded preflop ...

3:34 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Just a gross place to be. You were 100% ahead on the flop, because drunkey boy would have pushed with any hand that is ahead of AQ. So we can leave out big pairs, perhaps even medium and smaller pairs, and AK, also probably AQ, AJ and AT.

Your read is also that he'll push all-in with ATC, hit or miss.

Flops hit only a third of all hands. So you have a 2/3 chance of still being ahead.

That's one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is this: You've only got a 25% chance to beat a hand as bad as the hammer. If you can put him on ATC you could be up against A2, K2, Q2, QT, KT, A6, K6, Q6, T6, T2, 67, or even a small underpair such as threes or fours. All of those have you at a severe disadvantage. Normally, you'd discount all of these hands as improbable, but these are special circumstances.

On the other hand, we're only 5 hands into watching this guy, and he hasn't shown down anything yet. We're not sure if he has the tendency to slowplay big hands while aggro-pushing trash.

Furthermore, the hands you're hoping he has are trash that has totally missed. Let's say he has 97 offsuit. You are STILL only a 66% favorite there, and that's about a best case scenario. I guess if he has J4o or some such you become an 80% favorite, but there are a whole raft of hands where you're behind.

I think that calling is acceptable if you feel your read is solid. But you're unimproved, so it's for sure gamble-y.

Taking all this under consideration, I think I fold and reload. If he really is Nutrageous as you assume, he's going to donk off the medium sized pot he won, and soon.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

I understand where your coming from, trying to exploit a moron and take his coin before someone else does, but I think you put your self in a position where you are 50/50 at best for your entire stack, spot on read or not, its not +ev in the long run.

Don't fight the donkeys, embrace them and they will reward you in time for your kindness.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Zachary said...

The way you played and analyzed the hand up until this point, weren't you looking for him to shove here? He probably has some rag hand with a six in it and you're not getting the right price to draw at your overs, but based on your read, I think you have to call.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

Rockies' playoff chances meter: 26% - believe the hype. ;-)

As for the hand, there's just too many hands that anyone actually playing ATC could have and be well ahead at this point. Since you can pretty much eliminate him actually having a big hand pf, that increases the chances that he actually had crappy enough cards to have hit that flop, leaving you drawing fairly thin.

If he's really as drunk laggy as you have read, you'll have the opportunity to stack him in a better spot.

12:30 AM  

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