Friday, October 12, 2007

Lots o' Satellites and My Letter to Full Tilt

So Thursday was a good news / bad news night on the poker front. First, the bad news: cash games still sucked. I could get nothing going, and I lost one big pot when I got called preflop by KQs against my AJs and lost the roughly 60% favorite. No big complaints on that hand given the percentages, but when that's the only big hand you're involved in all night, that's not exactly great for business now is it.

On the good news front, my tournament game was working OK still on Thursday, which is a very good sign with all the FTOPS satelliting and whatnot coming up. I did follow through on my threat to donk it up by playing the nightly token frenzy at 9:45pm ET on full tilt, as well as the nightly 28k at 10pm ET, which really are two of the donkiest things around. In the frenzy, I got stoopid-called and then sucked out on early by a guy calling my allin reraise preflop with A8s. Of course he hit the Ace on the turn to best my Queens biatches, and I was among the first 20 or so players to the rail. I forget exactly what happened in the 28k, but I did as planned and played way donkey in the earlygoing, calling lots of preflop raises with garbage, drawing to inside straights on the flop, etc., causing around half my stack to disappear as the first hour drew to a close. Somewhere early in hour 2, I pushed allin preflop on a short stack with pocket 8s, promptly got called by pocket Aces in the blinds and IGH pretty early in that one too. But to be honest, they both felt good. I needed that donkism there after my antics from Tuesday night at the cash tables. It helped me to get that stuff out of my system a little bit for the rest of my pokering on the night, which was going on simultaneously through both of those tournaments.

First, I did play that 9:40pm ET FTOPS #3 pot-limit holdem satellite with the $26 buyin that I had mentioned in Thursday's post. I played tight early but did the pot-limit thing of playing a few more marginal hands and calling some smaller raises preflop in the hopes of catching a big flop on the cheap. So I was in there with some of those 87s and 33 and 55 hands that might otherwise be folds in a no-limit tournament, and I hit good on one of them early to get out near the top of the pack within the first half hour. This and some other stealy play helped me to quickly make the final table, with only 11 runners playing in the satellite overall and thus (sadly) only one FTOPS #3 seat awarded, where I was seated to the left of one of these former FTOPS winners with the gold jersey with the dorkass helmets as their full tilt icons. Whatever. You wanna see how to bust one of these guys at their own game? Come watch the Mr. FTOPS try to slow-play the original slow-player:

Here you can see I'm in the big blind, and the action folds around to Mr. FTOPS in the small blind, who checks his option. I've got pocket Tens, so I'm raising here and hopefully trying to come off like a bluffing bully against a short stack who might even push allin on me in response if I get really lucky. He calls, and the flop comes T63 rainbow. I've flopped top set on a completely raggy board in every way. FTOPS boy checks to me, with 300 chips in the pot, and 950 chips in his stack (I have him easily covered). So what do I do?

I check! That's right, I checked my set on this flop. Why? Of course I'm the originator of Real Men Bet Their Sets, and as a rule I generally follow this advice. But in this case, I simply could not possibly fathom what card could scare me on the turn in this case. And more than that, this guy had the gold jersey icon, which basically means he must be at least somewhat aggressive. And as the table's current short stack, I figured there was a good chance he would bet some (or all) of his chips at me later in the hand, regardless of what two cards he is holding. So I'll make him think I'm weak and see what happens on the turn which can't really possibly scare me given this particular board so far.

The turn card is another 6, making two diamonds as well on the board and pairing the second card on the flop. Normally pairing the second card on the flop is not something you want to see when you're slow-playing a strong hand, but in this case that card just made me a full hizzy. And it put a possible trip 6s on the board in addition to a possible flush draw, both of which I already have completely dominated in a huge way. So this was a great card for me -- and incidentally an awesome example of why the check was appropriate from me on the flop in this particular case -- and when Mr. FTOPS checked again, this time I bet out 220 into the 300-chip pot. I expected a fold but was hoping for an aggressive allin raise. Instead, look what he ended up doing:

Now does this scream "monster!" or what? A known winner with the gold FTOPS jersey icon is just more than minraising me on his short stack, leaving himself a stoopidly tiny pile of chips behind in an attempt to coerce me into calling this bet and then for the rest of his chips on the river. This was obvious strength, and given the board, I figured it was probably trip 6s with a good kicker, maybe a smaller boat, or something like that. But I still had the literal nuts here, other than quad 6s which I was not considering realistic at this point, so the only question was how do I hurt this guy the most when he sees my cards? I'm always up for knocking one of these FTOPS winners down a peg, so this was my chance. So I considered the options, knowing he was strong but not as strong as me, and opted for this:

I don't know why I do these things. Like I said, I knew from his turn action that he was happy with his hand and was not folding no matter what I did, so why not make him think I just couldn't resist his tiny little raise, and make this FTOPS champion think he had me where he wanted me, just to make the pain all the worse when I show him my cards at the end, right? F him and F his FTOPS jacket, that's what I have to say.

Anyways, the river brought an Ace, FTOPS boy went allin for his last 400 into the 1400-chip pot, and I instacalled and took down the pot, hopefully teaching the former FTOPS champion a nice lesson about slow-playing monsters on multiple streets against a Real Man:

So that hand against the former FTOPS winner put me basically right at the top of the leaderboard with 8 players remaining, and from there I just rolled on and played aggressive poker. When we got down to three-handed, I was the chip leader by about 8k to 6k to 5k. but unfortunately the third place guy made a horrible bluff and got called and eliminated by the 2nd place guy, leaving me at about a 2-to-1 chip deficit as heads-up play began. I fought my way back about 1000 chips or so, but then when I flopped a flush draw I figured I had to make my chance and got it all in on a large reraise on the flop. My opponent called with top pair and I failed to make my 35% chance, ending on the seat bubble in 2nd place overall out of 11 entrants:

I'll take the $48 cash, but of course what I really wanted was the seat. In light of my discussion yesterday, had I known that only 1 seat would be awarded out of 11 entrants, I might have considered skipping out on this tournament, but it's still the best way available right now in the evenings (real time) so for only $26 I'm probably in there anyways, despite the 1-in-11 chance of winning a seat.

I played very well in my last tournament of the night as well on Thursday, where at 10:30pm ET I saw sitting there the $26 buyin satellite to Saturday night's 9pm Winners Choice tournament. I've won these WC satellites several times in the past, but not for several months as I've been focusing far more on cash games and on other tournaments like the WSOP, FTOPS, the Monday 1k, etc. and not really thinking about that WC tournament much these days, but I was intrigued when I saw the satellite sitting there, and jumped in a few seconds before 10:30 once I saw a good-sized 25 players in the field, awarding two WC seats as well as some cash to the next few spots. 5 out of 25 make a profit in this satellite, including two seats? I'll take it!

96 minutes and about a million steals later:

So come look for me on Saturday night at 9pm *real time* in the $216 buyin Winners' Choice tournament, where I will be gunning for the 12k first prize and usually some nice cash for the next few spots as well against one of those really tough regular big-buyin fields on full tilt. Otherwise, come on out for the regular Friday night donkament at 9pm ET on full tilt, the fabulous $1 rebuy tournament that is sweeping blogger nation and turning normal donkeys into super-donkeys at least one night a week en masse. My personal goal if I am able to play at all tonight will be to win at least two hands in the entire first hour of play, which would double my success from last week's event, which itself was far superior to most of my other lifetime appearances in this donkey mint. I'm beginning to think that this tournament is just an opportunity for everyone else to get their revenge on me every Friday for a week of me stealing their blinds and raising the limpers allin and all those kinds of moves that I love to crack out at the other regular weekly blonkaments. So hopefully I'll be there again this week so you guys can get all those jollies out courtesy of me.


One more thing today before I go. Check out this draft email to send to full tilt about the cheating donkey from the other day that I wrote about:

Dear Full Tilt,

I am writing to you to report some suspicious chat I observed earlier this week that I believe might implicate a multi-accounter at your site. My account name is "hoyazo" on full tilt, I have run a weekly private tournament on full tilt for several months now and I've been playing basically exclusively at full tilt for the better part of a year, and I have never emailed you before to report any suspicious activity. But this past Tuesday night (October 9th), probably somewhere between the hours of 10pm and midnight or so ET, I was playing in a multi-table tournament on your site when I won with a nut flush against another player ("MikeFink67")'s Queen-high flush. I will paste the relevant chat that ensued after the hand, both from MikeFink67 whom I had just eliminated from the tournament, as well as from another observer who just popped up in the chat as soon as MikeFink67 was eliminated, someone named "peapod91" who had not appeared in the table chat at all prior to this hand. It these two IDs -- MikeFink67 and peapod91 -- that I would suggest you look into, given the chat below, which I paste directly as it was posted at the table chat at the time. Please note the Hand #s pasted as well exactly as they appeared in the table chat, so hopefully you should have no problem at all locating and verifying this exact chat from the chatbox from late this past Tuesday night ET:

Dealer: Hand #3808915462
Dealer: hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
Dealer: MikeFink67 shows [Js Qs]
Dealer: hoyazo shows [As Qd]
Dealer: MikeFink67 shows a flush, Queen
Dealer: hoyazo shows a flush, Ace high
Dealer: hoyazo wins the pot (7,210) with a
flush, Ace high
Tournament Director: The blinds are now
Dealer: Hand #3808927388
MikeFink67 (Observer): good one
MikeFink67 (Observer): ufcking loser
peapod91 (Observer): nh you idiot
peapod91 (Observer): nh idiot
Dealer: fIop_deez_NuTz has 15 seconds
left to act
hoyazo: you were behind on EVERY
STREET donkey!!
MikeFink67 (Observer): u flop it?
Dealer: bgombos79 has 15 seconds left to
MikeFink67 (Observer): u flop the flush?
hoyazo: you know it boss
Dealer: bgombos79 wins the pot (840)
Dealer: Hand #3808938408
peapod91 (Observer): not after the flop
MikeFink67 (Observer): get your eyes
check u fcking re t ard
peapod91 (Observer): you had 7 outs
hoyazo: every street.
peapod91 (Observer): idiot
Dealer: Nuttypoolog has 15 seconds left
to act
Dealer: fIop_deez_NuTz wins the pot (200)
Dealer: Hand #3808943133
hoyazo: how were you ahead on the flop
Dealer: MrPapaGiorgio has 15 seconds
left to act
hoyazo: thought so!
peapod91 (Observer): flopped a flush
peapod91 (Observer): you had 7 outs after
the flop, and i was ahead
(emphasis added)
Dealer: willjohn wins the pot (200)
Dealer: Hand #3808949516
peapod91 (Observer): do you now
peapod91 (Observer): retard
Dealer: willjohn has 15 seconds left to act
hoyazo: why is peapod saying "I was
Dealer: hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
Dealer: bgombos79 wins the pot (200)
Dealer: Hand #3808954915
hoyazo: peapod wasnt even in the hand!
hoyazo: hmmmmm"

As you can see from the above chat, the account holder of "peapod91" clearly states "and I was ahead" in the chat, although the hand did not happen to peapod91 but rather to MikeFink67. I think this suggests pretty clearly that MikeFink67 and peapod91 are the same person, logged in to at least two separate accounts on full tilt at the same time, with at least one of his accounts participating in this multi-table tournament. I failed to check to see if "peapod91" was also registered in the same event, which I'm sure you guys can verify in 5 seconds, but in any event I know that having two active full tilt accounts (and certainly logging in to both simultaneously) is a violation of your stated rules.

To be honest, with as many hours of play as I have logged on full tilt over the past couple of years, I have probably run into a couple of other situations where I felt something inappropriate might be going on, but it has never risen to the level where I felt the need to email full tilt support for investigation. In this case, though, I feel that the alleged culprit needs to be reported, if not for the cheating itself, then for the incredible stupidity shown by this player in how I noticed this problem. I mean, it's bad enough that MikeFink67 does not understand the concept of protecting his flopped flush with a bet instead of the standard slow-play all the way through the river. That is terrible poker, but frankly, guys just like that have funded most of my play at your site over the past couple of years, and that is certainly not worthy of bringing to full tilt's attention. But this player for some reason (1) felt the need to swear at me and call me names in the chat box in response to his own bad poker play, and (2) is such a complete dolt that he couldn't even stop himself from berating me and referring to himself in the first person, even once he had switched to his other pc, perhaps to the still active account he was running in that very same tournament.

Unfortunately for MikeFink67 / peapod91, I have an informal policy that idiocy of this degree needs to be stopped at all costs, at least when it has degenerated into multi-accounting at the site where I choose to play my poker and contribute a ton of rake. If this guy isn't smart enough to protect his vulnerable hands with bets, and isn't smart enough to turn the eye on his own play but instead lashes out at me in the chat after the hand, all while accelerating the degeneracy by multi-accounting, I see it as something that full tilt should want to know about and should definitely want to look into.

Can you please keep me apprised via email of your investigation into matter, including the outcome of your investigation and any resulting actions you may be taking? I also have an active poker blog where I write all the time about full tilt, and I plan to post a copy of this email to you on my blog, where I expect to also post your updates for my readers to see how you are addressing this matter upon receiving this email. As always please feel free to contact me here if you have any other questions or need any further information.

"Hoyazo" on full tilt

What do you guys think? Please let me know of any additional comments or changes you might have, and I will be sending this email over the weekend to my friends at full tilt support.


Blogger Astin said...

I'd lose all the friendly banter stuff. Does FT support really care about your opinion of his poker play? I'd imagine they'd much rather get a short to-the-point e-mail than a long-winded one where you talk about how he didn't protect his flush and that he's a moron for revealing his multi-account sin.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I don't think it matters. FTP support has been very good to me whenever I had questions or issues or whatever. They probably get tons of mundane emails about questions so I think they'll be entertained by this email. I say keep it the way it is.

I would, however, be surprised if they told you the result. They might just say they took care of the situation or something like that.

11:55 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

"I have an informal policy that idiocy of this degree needs to be stopped at all costs"


12:58 AM  
Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

LOL, what a dumbass. I could go either way on the friendly banter stuff. I don't think it will really matter in the end, though.

2:50 AM  
Blogger StB said...

I agree with Astin. You should get to the point and keep it there. Writing the letter to begin with is the imporatant part.

3:17 AM  
Blogger The Poker Enthusiast said...

I think it is long winded. State your point quick and paste the hand history. That worked for me when I had this happen to me.

3:53 AM  
Blogger OhCaptain said...

There going to see the banter anyways if they read through that chats, leaving it in doesn't hurt anything.

Keep reporting it! The more donkeys caught doing this the better. I've had that feeling more than once too.


3:55 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Good letter -- needed to be sent. Will be interested to see what happens next.

10:12 AM  
Blogger TripJax said...

To everyone who says shorten the email, I must note, that's just not how Hoy roles.

I say send it the way you want to, Hoy.

I am very interested to see the result, however since you won the hand, they may be less inclined to let you know the result other than that they are handling it. Had you lost the hand, they might be more interested in making you and the other tournament players whole.

Please let us know the result...

10:52 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Good letter. I don't think they'll tell you anything though. I once wrote to PokerRoom support when two guys were openly colluding (they were doing it in a nonEnglish language that I speak, the fishtards) and all support told me was that they "took the appropriate action".

11:10 AM  
Blogger golden said...

Seriously, I see this stuff all the time. Not the cheating, but the guys who berate you because you were ahead on every street and they didn't suck out. WTF are they talking about? Are they that stupid or are they trying to tilt you?

6:35 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

im going to enjoy seeing what happens to this story..

i have to say, hoy..i read your blog often...and i am impressed how much time you have to raise a family, practice what seems a lot of online poker...and still find time to write this lengthy letter..

i have 6 kids..i practice medicine..i try and play as much poker as i can...and i read tons of stuff online and off...but still..

mad props to you for your time management skills.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Iak said...

Holy fuck. Cut the banter? Did I miss the part where you even asked what we thought?

ps. leave the way it is dummy.

oh yeah i am up and running again. cya out there

9:10 AM  
Blogger kalvin said...

You are so good, you flopped a set against a guy with kings, lets write a whole blog about it.

9:32 AM  

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