Friday, November 30, 2007

Tilt! Tilt! Tilt!

I have a confession to make.

I've been playing on tilt for at least a week now. There's no sense in denying it any longer; the people in our group with whom I am closest already know this from my 10,000 pissed off girly chats every night. Even though I've had some poker success during the week, that success has not come because I am in the right poker mindset. Instead, I've had to get pretty much wasted just to be able to stay calm enough to play anything even remotely resemling good poker, and at best that's all it's been -- remotely resembling good poker.

I spent some time overnight trying to think about exactly what has me on tilt. When I got up this morning, it seems somewhat clearer to me, at least some of the things. Some of this stuff (most of it, really) has no business tilting me, and in fact goes to show just how easy it is to take me off my game. That is one of my many personal weaknesses and one that has direct application at the tables. Just another part of the constant struggle I go through every day to try to improve my game and rein in those things that counteract me playing my best poker. But nonetheless, I'm here now and I'm telling you, there's some shit out there that literally has me on tilt before I even sit down at the pc. Then it only gets worse during the night, and inevitably like in this week's Riverchasers tournament I end up donking on purpose or targeting one particularly annoying player at the table, making plays I know I will lose with just because I want to go out, in a vain attempt to shake this tilt that's been lingering on me for days. It's ghey and it sucks.

For starters, some of the stuff that goes on in the chat box in these blonkaments is just plain ridiculous. I don't care who you are and I don't care how completely, totally 100% accurate what you're saying is. A lot of people have written about this recently, and there's a reason for that. It's not appropriate. Although I was not the literal first blogger to play in the first blonkament, I've been playing in them consistently for nearly three years now, back since the very early days of the WWdN. In fact, I might have literally played in more blogger tournaments than any human being alive, given the focus I have always placed on playing regularly in these things and the length of time I've been doing it. I almost bet that really is true. So I am qualified to talk about this stuff, and I'm here to say that when you are launching personal attacks at other people in the chatbox in our private tournaments, you are despoiling them. Period.

Now don't get me wrong. A little good natured ribbing is fine. Fun, even. I am the very first person to type in "nice call" or "well played" when some asshat calls my preflop allin with T9o or of course the JackAce. Invariably they win with their garbage hands, and I'm not trying to sit here and say that I have never let someone know that I know that they just made a bad play. I do do that from time to time, very rarely actually as I typically opt for the "gl all" or even "nh, gl" when I get uberdonked out of a blonkament and leave it at that, but I'm not trying to paint myself out to be some kind of an angel here. I'm being real about what goes on in these things. But one thing you will notice about even when I might type this sort of thing into the chat following a truly, indisputably horrible play -- I type in my one comment about the play itself, tops, and that's it. It's over. I don't sit around and harangue someone at the table for the next 3 minutes, 10 minutes, hour or whatever.

And more than that, one thing you never, ever see me do is launching personal attacks at people at the tables. In fact, even right here in the blog where I am known for making an occasional rant or two, I don't spend my time attacking people personally. That shit has no place in my blog. Are you people really not able to take a step back and see what your personal jabbing back and forth looks like to the other people at the table? Have you really lost your sense of perspective that much? I mean, it's one thing to question the poker play of someone, and to do so in a short comment or two and then move on. Frankly, I've seen most (not all, but definitely the vast majority) of the people who play in our games do this at least once or twice over time and frankly I think some degree of that is hard to keep out of the games with any real consistency, nor do I think it is any kind of a problem. But getting into personal attacks against people in public right at their table? Engaging in back and forth insults over an extended period of time in this kind of a public forum, even if tangentially related to one's poker plays? I'm telling you guys objectively: it is ridiculous, it looks ridiculous, and everyone seeing it thinks it's ridiculous. And make no mistake: it's not about what other people think about this stuff. It is ridiculous, objectively speaking.

This is the thing, guys. The people who started these regular blonkaments in the first place a few years ago, the people who helped form our ghey little group and who so wanted to have a regular forum for us to hang together, chat together and play together in groups, we never, ever would want this kind of stuff going on in the chat in these games. There is such a thing as girly chat, and if you feel the need to rant about a particular individual personally, or to rant for 5 hours about a particular person's poker play, that is a much better forum for such issues. Take it from me, especially over the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of that, and I apologize here to those of you who have borne the brunt of my angry girly chatting. That's something I need to and plan to work on as it is, but I never, ever do that in the public chat box during our weekly tournaments.

Now don't get me wrong. No one here is trying to tell you how you need to act or how you need to chat. I say this because I've mentioned this here before in perhaps a bit less of a direct way, and certainly an increasing number of other bloggers have written about this same thing in their own blogs as this seems to be happening more and more often, and basically it has gotten the same predictable and quite absurd response. No I'm not ordering anyone to act a certain way, and no I'm not telling anyone that they're not "permitted" to do anything or say anything. But, the very relevant point I am making is this: the people who play in these tournaments do not like when you do this in the chatbox. 98% of the players would be happier if you didn't act this way. Whether you like it or not, these things were not started to be and are not intended to be forums for you to launch personal attacks nor to follow someone around who indeed made a refuckulously horrid play against you and harangue them for an hour. It pisses 98% of the players in these things off when you do it, and more directly, it makes the tournaments far, far less enjoyable and less attractive to play in when you do it. And that my friends makes it wrong.

Now, having seen the highly predictable responses to this stuff when it's come up in blogs in the past, I can already see these same few offenders typing the same silly responses now. I think I will address some of those in advance.

1. "I can do whatever I want, I paid my buyin." True statement. You can do whatever you want. But it isn't right. No one's saying you aren't allowed to type this stuff. You just shouldn't, and you are ruining 98% of the other players' times to various degrees by doing what you are physically permitted to do.

2. "Hoy you hypocrite I've seen you rant about people ten thousand times in your blog." This one is one of my personal favorites. Read the blog guys. I will say all I want about the way someone played a hand. That's attacking someone's poker. I don't typically spend my time attacking someone personally though, and there's a reason for that: I don't actually have personal issues with most people who read here and who play in our tournaments, and I don't like to use my blog as a forum to make someone specific look or feel bad for some personal issue involving them. Tell someone they made a poor play, and you won't hear me complaining. Tell someone they made a poor play for 45 minutes in the chat, and that's not something that I ever do. Ever. And I'd like to see where in this blog I take my valuable time attacking someone on a personal, as opposed to a poker, level.

And before you get cute, I freely admit that recently in the comments here, I let a couple of people have it pretty good for some things they said in the comments. Let me just say that when someone starts off a comment with "no offense", and then goes on to call what I'm doing "assinine" and to accuse me of just trying to exert control over other bloggers, they're gonna get it, especially when I'm kinda tilted already as it is. Plus, notice that that is done not in the chat box of our tournaments, not even in my blog, but in the comments to my blog. Believe me, I wanted to post that whole comment and my tremendous response to it here. But I didn't. Because say what you want about me, but I'm never looking to use my blog to make someone look bad on a personal level in front of my readers. If you make a truly bad poker play against me you are likely to read about the bad play here. But you're not likely to read about what a dickhead I think you are on a personal level. And frankly I rarely ever like reading about what a dickhead someone is on another blog either, though of course I defend anyone's right to say what they want in their own blog.

And again, this isn't a post about what people write in their blogs at all. It's about the way people behave in the chat box during our tournaments. Like I said above, no one is going to try to physically stop anyone from being a penis head in the chatbox. That decision is going to have to be made by each individual himself, in each specific situation. What I am saying though is that the people who came before you, the people who started up this entire tradition of our group getting together regularly to play this game we all barely know and love, the people who still make it a priority every week to come together and play in these things, we don't like what a lot of the chat in these things has turned in to. And the "we" I am referring to represents a good 98%+ of the people who play in the tournaments. These are the facts, what the people do with those facts is of course out of anyone's control.

Anyways, the shit that's been going on in the chat box in our private tournaments for the past couple of months I would say definitely contributes to my tilt these days. Just about everyone hates it, and I love our private tournaments and I love what they represent, and I hate knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that a few people's antics in the chat make so many of the truly nice, fun and interesting people I've played in these things with for over two years not want to show up anymore. That is clearly a suckdickity outcome (that's a bad thing, not a good thing in case it's not clear), but it's just as clear that it's already happened and continues to happen as we speak, and I wish it would change. It bums me out that I have no control over changing that.

I guess the other thing that's been tilting me lately is some of the recockulous luckboxery I've been seeing from the same people again and again and again, combined with those same people then turning around and denying their luckboxery and even accusing other people of the very same luckboxery that they themselves have exhibited so obviously. Just like the first thing I talked about above, there really is no good reason why this seems to tilt me so bad, but it does and that's something I need to get cracking on fixing since I always aim to play my best game. I mean, I've read posts this week where people have actually taken the time to write an entire post about how they're not really a luckbox at all, and in the very post where they make this argument, they go on to show five or six examples from just one hour of play which make it so fucking recockulously obvious how lucky they got that the whole thing reads like a poor childrens' joke. I've written about this many times before, but getting refuckulucky in a tournament that you do well in is part of the game. It is rare that someone lasts deep into a big tournament and does not get lucky at some point along the way. And getting lucky of course includes getting a lot of good starting cards, it includes getting strong hands when your opponent gets slightly less strong (but still strong) starting hands, and it includes things like winning 5 races in a row, it includes flopped 5 sets during a tournament, it includes river suckouts in key spots, it includes all of these things. I like a guy like Alan who wins the Mookie this week and then has the balls to get on his blog and post all the awesome starting hands he was dealt. That's great, and of course it doesn't take a dam thing away from his performance in the tournament. He played his good cards well, got a little lucky, stepped up at the end and won the tournament. Big deal. There's no insult buried in admitting that one got some good cards to play with. It's what happens when you win a tournament. The only insult is to the readers when you luckchuck all the way to the final table and then try to claim it was all skill and that luck played no part in it at all.

But when I see these people posting how they did not lucksack in a tournament to pick up pocket Aces twice, pocket Kings twice, and to flop 3 sets in just the first hour of a tournament ("but I played all my hands so well!!!"), it just makes me sick. I mean, my reaction to a post like that is obviously not important, their lucksackery still exists no matter what they say of course. But it really drives me crazy. I've complained about this for a year or more in the blog. You get lucky as shit and win a tournament, don't act like you did it all on skill. It's called keeping it real. Be like Astin who is man enough to post all the AA and KK and QQ and AK hands he was dealt. Be like Alan the other day. Be like The King who won his first BBT tournament in the Riverchasers this week, and happily posted a kickass post about his three flopped sets (I think there were actually five) and about the 3-outer he hit in a key spot late in the game. That's what a real Man does. Only a pussyshit lucksacks his way through an hour or three and then goes on to his blog and claims it was all skill and how awesome he played is what got him where he ended up without referencing the fact that he couldn't go fucking five hands without flopping a set or top two pairs, and didn't go 10 minutes without picking up a premium starting hand or better yet, flopping huge against someone else's premium starting hand. Somehow the idea has been formulated and then perpetrated by dickheads that one can get lucky but then make that luckiness disappear by revising history and claiming it didn't happen. We're all there watching, you shitforbrainses! Your luck already did happen. Can you really be such schmike (yes that is the plural of "schmuck" in my language) to think you're going to trick us into thinking you were playing with air that whole time? We just saw your cards for the past four hours!! Christ. I'm getting tilted all over again just typing this stuff.

And please guys, don't win 18 races in a row and then bitch for 30 minutes in the chat about the one you lost. And don't call 313 allins with Queen-high and suck out every time, and then lose your shit on someone in the chatbox when they call you down with Ten high and beat you. It's like I just said above -- we've all sat here watching you play for the past few hours, for the past several tournaments, etc. We've been seeing the plays you've made. We know what you've been pushing and calling allins with. Even bloggers aren't fool enough to be tricked into forgetting how we've seen you play recently. How about a little fucking ownership, a little fucking personal responsibility here? Own your fucking lucksackery. You play like a monkey, you get rewarded with repeated lucksackery, and then you're going to go apeshit when that same lucksackery bites you in your own ass? I don't get it. And it tilts the shit out of me, at least it does lately anyways. Those of you who played the blonkaments with me this week will know, I donked myself out of them with idiotic cards for the most part, just because I was pissed. The only one I didn't do that in was the Mookie, and that's because I know my Mookie Curse was already in effect and would take care of that anyways -- even if someone flopping frigging quads on me when allin preflop with my higher pocket pair over their lower pocker pair hadn't happened when it did, it was only a matter of time in the Mook for me of course. But otherwise I've been playing like an abject shithead in these things, and for the most part it's because I am letting the luckshits get to me and especially letting the "dirty chatters" get to me.

Do us all a favor. Have all the personal battles you want with other bloggers. Enjoy yourselves. But do it in a more private forum. Yes I laugh my ass off sometimes at the shit I see in the chat, including in the Riverchasers last night which for whatever reason always seems to bring out the worst in some of the bloggers in the chat box. But it's not right, and it makes people who should never feel this way, feel like not playing with our ghey little group anymore when they themselves were the people who created these tournaments in the first place as a chance to get together, and most importantly to have fun. I need to try to remember that more myself, but so do a lot of us. Do what you can to keep the ridiculous hour-long post-elimination diatribes out of the chatbox, and keep the personal attacks and the personal issues away from everyone else who comes out to play and to try to win a few bucks from their friends and have a fun time. Every time I see this stuff, invariably from people who had never even heard of a poker blog when the rest of us were starting up the whole idea of these regular private games together a few years back, it concerns me. I foresee a world where some people might even want to do tournaments that are even more private than the ones we already run, where the password does not get out to the people who are perceived as negatively impacting the experience for the vast majority of everyone else.

So stop acting gheyly. Stop tilting me. Have some fuckin fun in these things guys. I promise I will do the same.

Donkament tonight, 9pm ET on full tilt. Not sure if I will make it there or not (who am I kidding, I will fucking be there for my weekly poker therapy), but the $1 rebuy is always a great time and hopefully something that won't get people too worked up to remain civil in the chat. And don't worry, no matter how nice people are to each other in the chat, I'm still gonna get trashed in the thing. I just wish Buddy would be on air getting trashed and broadcasting live with me.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mookie Curse, Dookie Domination, WTF Else is New

Wow. I feel like a donkey's ass this morning. There's really nothing like starting drinking at 8pm, being sloppy by 10, winning a bunch of money playing drunkass mofo poker and staying up until 3am on a work night just to win $69 in a limit poker donkfest, hammered off your ass. In total, thanks to my older daugher M coming into our room at 3:40am to have her fucking toenail filed with the emery board, my total sleep for the night tallies to 2 hours and 25 minutes. That is sweeeeeet right there. But I have to say, getting my drink on to the stylings of Buddy Dank Radio for several hours is a great way to spend an evening at home alone. I was asking some people on the girly chat last night, but seriously now, what the fuck did we used to do during these blonkaments before BDR came along? That shit is the funniest and funnest thing around, bar none. If you aren't listening to the BDR broadcasts for every week's Mookie tournament, you are a phucking buffoon, that's just all there is to it.

Anyways, for those of you still wondering if I am cursed in the Mookie, I offer you this brief screen movie:

I could not make this stuff up if I tried. I was so far gone by the end of the first hour of the Mook that I had to log in this morning and review the screenshots just to make sure this actually happened. But it appears to be real. What the fluck. Seriously. I mean, isn't one Jack on the flop enough to make the point? Of course I got the usual from the guy who laid this beat on me, that he put me on a steal, yadda yadda yadda. Not his fault of course. It just gets fucking older and older sitting here every Thursday morning reading once again about how I want that call every day of the week and thrice on Sunday, and how it's the full tilt server that I'm so angry with and not any player at the table, doesn't it? Well you know what? I don't want that call anymore. Not last night, not tonight, not ever. Not in the Mookie, not in the FTOPS Main Event, and not in anything. When I'm crushingly ahead of someone at the table, in particular in the Mookie, I don't want you betting all your money at me with just two outs. Why? Because you're not going to flop one of your outs. You're going to flop both of them. Eff you, full tilt. Cursed in the Mookie? You decide.

And btw big congratulations out to Alan who took down a much-deserved Mookie win this week and won his way into the BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions freeroll coming up in less than a month now. Alan played a dominatory game, and he even overcame not one but two effing pocket Aces for his frigging heads-up opponent at the end last night in sellthekids. How that all happens is beyond me, but not only did the same player get dealt AA when down to heads-up two hands in a fracking row, but somehow that player still didn't win the whole thing. Craziness at that final table I tell you. But go see Alan's blog and tell him he kicks ass. He earned that shit this week and earned it good, and he's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the ToC.

Anyways, despite the shizziness that is the Mookie for me every single week, I did at least win another token frenzy for the first time in a few weeks, which will always come in useful for a satellite guy like me.

And then there's always this:

This is my second Dookie win in HA (PLH and PLO in alternating 10-minute sessions, just don't ask why the symbol for this is "HA" because I can't help you there) and my third Dookie win of the year. I think in fact there have only been two HA Dookie's that I can recall, and I won 'em both. So there. And I beat Drizz, without a doubt one of the finest multigame players there is, in a marathon battle that lasted until after 3am ET. Why I fought so hard to win $69 and change in this thing will forever remain a mystery, but I know I was having fun so I guess that's it. Frankly, as I told drizz at the final table last night, this thing turned into the Captain Morgan's bowl as far as I was concerned, as I think that was the only thing keeping either of us going as late as we did in the Dook. Hopefully drizz had as much fun playing it as I did. Frankly what it came down to was that we each had a ghey suckout on the other during our long heads-up battle with fairly high M's all things considered, with his suckout happening about halfway through our probably 30-minute heads-up play and mine happening on the very last hand of the tournament. But in the end, I think drizz was just not nearly aggro enough, as I won a ton of pots with nothing by just raising or reraising preflop, and especially by betting on the flop when it came raggy and/or he showed weakness, and for whatever reason drizz never pushed back. This is what gave me the chips to withstand his earlier suckout, and frankly what enabled me to be in a position to hit my own 16-outer on the river, as I had top pair, an inside straight draw and a Queen-high flush draw while drizz held 2nd and 3rd pairs plus a 6-high flush draw in the same suit:

So in the end I took it down:

All this, combined with three sng cashes on the night helped me to have a very profitable night of drunken poker. Again I have to give mad propz out to Buddydank and to KOD for doing an absolutely kickass job on the radio all through the night. For me it is awesome having a tell-it-like-it-is guy with tons of poker knowledge like Chad on the air as these tournaments get down to the final table, plus frankly I could sit and listen to Chad being frustrated at the play he sees all day and never get tired of it. It was a blast and you guys as a group were the perfect buddies to sit and get wasted and whittle away the evening with, so thanks to everyone who came out and played in the Mook last night. What say we do it tonight again for Riverchasers, 9pm ET on full tilt, password as always is "riverchasers". I might be a little late if my father in law wants to hang out for some dinner this evening, but I'll be around at some point so I will definitely see you then.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mookie and the Cap'n, and MATH Options

Another Wednesday, another Mookday. Why the Mookie excites me so much every week, I will never know. But, tonight I have a new plan that I'm sure is going to get me back to my second straight Mookie final table:

I'm going to get fucking hammered. And for once I don't mean with 72 offsuit.

Actually, Hammer Wife's father is in town for the week, and she and he and her brother are going out to foncay dinner in the city, while I will be home on babysitting duty for the evening. And while that may sound like a lot of work to get done whilst drinking up and playing some online poker, the Hammer Girls go to sleep relatively early in the evening these days. Thus, come 8pm ET, I should be home and home alone, with nothing to do but hit the new bottle of Captain Morgan sitting in my freezer and some good ole' fashioned Coke Zero™. And fire up the laptop and hit the virtual felt.

Virtual felt. The most trite, overused phrase on this here blog. Enjoy it. Revel in it. I certainly do.

So today I'm thinking, what are some fun drinking games a boy can play all by himself while playing online poker? I will need to have at least 7 or 8 drinks in me by the time the Mookie starts at 10pm ET (password as always is "vegas1"), which will give me about two hours to play with, and about a drink every 15 minutes in there. And I feel like some kind of structure, some kind of game, to play to determine exactly when I drink. So how do I get that done tonight while I play poker? Five ideas I'm kicking around this morning:

1. Drink every time I win a race. This is a fun idea, and in theory it should have me downing a drink every 15 minutes or so. Only problem here is my historical 20-25% win rate with races. This one alone might not get me drunk enough by Mookie time.

2. Drink every time I am dealt a premium starting hand. Another fun idea, but suffers from the same problem as option #1 above. At that rate I likely won't be drunk until sometime in the Jeb Bush administration.

3. Drink every time I suck out on someone. Same problem. Now we might not be talking until Jeb Bush's kid's administration.

4. Drink every time I am dealt two face cards. This isn't bad, as this definitely should be happening around once every 15 minutes or so, especially if I'm firing up three or four tables at once like I like to do. But is getting dealt any two crappy face cards really worthy of a drink like that?

5. What about drinking every time I make a pair or better on the flop at any table? See, this is the kind of creative thinking I'm looking for today. I really need something that will happen often enough for me to actually be able to get good n drunk over a couple of hours, and a pair on the flop while multitabling ought to get me there. But I just can't help but think there is some more fun, more creative system out there that will get me drizzy in time and yet really make my evening alone more enjoyable for me before the Mookie starts up -- I was never much for the creative stuff so for the life of me I can't think of it.

Btw thanks to everyone for your great suggestions about what to do for the last two MATH tournaments in the BBTwo. I thought almost all of them were great ideas. I've already spoken to full tilt about one of our last two BBTwo Hoy tournaments being a heads-up tournament, so you can expect that to be coming over the next week or two for sure. I love that idea, and the good thing about it is, once again it is still holdem which is important to me as I don't really plan to get away from the holdem games in the middle of the challenge since many of the participants are not into those other games, and since the Aussie Millions ToC as well as the actual Aussie Millions grand prize itself are both themselves holdem tournaments. But heads-up holdem for a ToC seat was something I almost tried to fit in during November, and you can definitely expect to see that coming in one of the next two MATH tournaments. I am leaning towards that being the final MATH of the challenge, because there just seems to be something poetic about winning one's way in at the last chance in a MATH via a heads-up tournament, but I suppose that is not set in stone yet.

But it's this coming week's Hoy that I really consider the wildcard as of now. I had previously kicked around the idea of a knockout tournament, but does that really matter all that much to people? I mean, I think in a large mtt the knockout idea makes more sense, because by the time you make the final few players, you could literally have knocked out 30 or 40 players on your way there, actually amassing a decent chunk-a-change from all your knockout bounties. But, in a 70-person tournament or so, does $4 a pop for knockouts really make that much of a difference to anyone? I mean, I don't mean to be snobby about anyone's bankroll, as even my own roll can always use a few extra bucks or my $26 buyin back or whatever. But at $26 buyin, we're probably looking at a $4 knockout bounty and $20 to the prize pool for every player, and with, say, 70 players in the tournament, the most anyone can reasonably expect to be winning in bounties is what? $15, $20? Again, not that that is nothing because it's certainly worthwhile to add to any of our full tilt accounts, but I'm not really sure I see the value there in removing that money from the prize pool when we're dealing with such relatively small amounts in a $26 blonkament as opposed to a $26 multi-table tournament where the number of knockouts can really get up there for the players who last until the end.

What about one of these 6-max limit holdem tournaments? Now I know that limit and no-limit are in many ways very different games, but it's still holdem and I know some of you out there who play the BBTwo events from time to time are actually more limit specialists than no-limit specialists? And the 6-max aspect definitely makes limit holdem more interesting, so even a no-limit donk like me can get into the limit game as long as it's a tournament with escalating blinds, and as long as it's 6-max. What do you guys think of that?

OK please let me know your thoughts on the above, in addition to some drinking games I can run from 8-10pm ET tonight while I prepare for the Mook. Also, if anyone is up for a $55 turbo PLO heads-up sng like they have on full tilt during that time, hit me up on the girly chat. I have been utterly crushing those things lately. Just about my only loss was last night when I lost with the flopped nut flush to the rivered straight flush. That's right, you read that right. In heads-up play. Gotta love it!

See you tonight at 10pm ET for Le Mookie, hammered style!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fueling to the Cash, and MATH Recap

For starters, I cannot believe I missed this one yesterday, but I would be remiss if I did not mention our brother Fuel55's incredible run to the cash in the $2500 Main Event of the BC Poker Championship over the weekend. Fuel has got an awesome and detailed writeup of the event over on his blog, but let me just start off by saying Wow! Congratulations to the crazy man himself for what I assume is his biggest ever cash, live or online. As my longtime readers know, there is absolutely nothing I like more than biggest-ever poker scores by bloggers, and this one definitely fits the bill as it remains one of the best performances in a Main Event of a "real" tournament that I know of for any blogger. We had Ryan winning the first event (not the main event, but still) of the LA Poker Open, including something like $126,000 or something, a couple of years ago, and of course there was Jordan's recent domination in the Poker News Cup down under, where he finished in 6th place and took home $47,900 for his efforts, and now Fuel in the BC Poker Championship's main event. It's huge news for Fuel and huge news for the poker bloggers in general as far as I am concerned. Way to go Fuel55. There is nothing the poker blogging world needed than padding Fuel's bankroll a little more so he can play 1-2 with us on full tilt with even less abandon and more recklessness than he already does, so yet another big positive for all of us as a group from this momentous finish out of Fuel55.

On to other less important things, 54 runners showed up for "MATH -- The Rebuy" on Mondya night, franlky much more than I expected for a $10 rebuy tournament, to my happy surprise. The thing played out a whole lot like most other rebuy tournaments I have been in, which included some incredible lucksackery at my starting table, unfortunately focused on the same two players again and again and again rather than spread around the table more evenly. Otherwise in the end there were 130 rebuys, and 43 addons out of the 47 remaining players after the first break to make a total prize pool of $2270, easily the biggest MATH prize pool ever, with a first prize of $862 and change, plus of course the BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions seat. Wow! What is this, the Big Game? Seriously though, some of the players in this week's MATH insisted on complaining about this being the "tightest rebuy in history" or some such silliness, but in reality the players showed up with their virtual pocketbooks in tow, ending up with between 2 and 3 rebuys per person, just like every other rebuy tournament I've ever played in, other than the $1 variety like the donkament which for obvious reasons often ends up with more like 5 to 7 rebuys per person by the time the dust has cleared.

So, it is clear from the facts that there were just as many rebuys in this as in any other normal rebuy tournament, which is a great thing and which I think shows that people took things seriously and enjoyed the format overall. I'm happy about that, and personally I love the rebuy format and I take it as a nice positive overall that this was easily the biggest Hoy prize pool in history, something I definitely did not expect when I came up with this idea a few weeks back. As I mentioned, the only personal complaint I have about the play this week was that, unlike your normal random rebuy tournament where the bad beats and the lucksucks tend to be spread out among several players at the table, in my starting table's case, where I sat for the entire first hour, it was just two players getting all the pocket Aces (and having them hold up), sucking out sets against other players' pocket Aces, and just generally getting all the starting cards and all the good luck throughout the entire hour. This meant that when Monkey Hour ended and we started hour 2, we had two prohibitively huge stacks and a bunch of shorties, and I know for sure that the other 7 people at my table did not have nearly the fun that these two and hopefully most of you had, because nobody had more than twice the starting stack after an hour other than the two lucksacks. But, such is life in a rebuy tournament, and I've certainly had the chance to be the rebuy lucksack before in my life. Unfortunately that was a $1 rebuy and this was a much bigger prize pool with much more at stake, but what can I do about that. As usual for the blonkaments, I basically sat around and watched some people get lucky again and again and again while I got in ahead a few times and lost, went in racing a few times and lost, and barely kept my ahead above water before bowing out early in hour 2 by running into someone else's pocket Kings. One of these days I swear I'm going to get some cards in a blonkament, at which point you are all dead meat. Even when I try to suck out on people, it just never happens for me. Too sad.

Anyways, the tournament ended at 1:54am, only 30-40 minutes later than the usual Hoy ending time, so I was also happy about that and about not completely ruining some people's nights who live on the east coast. In the end, it was the third BBTwo ToC seat awarded to a player I had mentioned in my previous post predicting the ToC winners, I am proud to say, and it's someone who I personally believe was the best player left at the final table, which to me is always a good thing even though it rarely happens for me personally. Here are all your cashers:

1. cmitch $862.60
2. surflexus $499.40
3. blinders $340.50
4. scottmc $249.70
5. LJ $181.60
6. Fuel55 $136.20

After a very frustrating Monkey Hour for me and then a bustout early in hour 2, I did not stay up to watch the final table so I can't comment on who played well or got lucky later in the tournament. But congratulations out to cmitch for winning I believe his second MATH of the year, the biggest one of the year this time around, including that fatty $862 in cash plus the coveted Tournament of Champions seat. As I mentioned, personally I think mitch is the best pure poker player of those who made the final table, so while I can't say if he got lucky or just got skilled on the night, I am always pleased to see a great player like him take one of these tournaments down, and he is definitely someone who has the chance to win the 26-person freeroll coming up for the 18k prize package to the Aussie Millions in January.

And here is the updated MATH moneyboard for 2007, including the results of this week's tournament:

1. cmitch $1703
2. Columbo $1526
3. Bayne_s $1400
4. Hoyazo $1162
5. RaisingCayne $1110
6. Surflexus $1107
7. Daddy $999
8. Kajagugu $806
9. Fuel55 $802
10. Astin $793
11. Pirate Wes $792
12. VinNay $775
13. Tripjax $759
14. Iggy $745
15. Gary Cox $734
16. Blinders $720
17. NewinNov $677
18. Lucko21 $665
19. LJ $652
20. Waffles $650
21. IslandBum1 $642
22. XxMagiciaNxX $630
22. JJ $630
24. Jamyhawk $576
25. Buddydank $553
26. Numbbono $549
27. swimmom95 $545
28. Chad $537
29. ScottMc $532
30. Emptyman $513
31. Byron $510
32. Julius Goat $507
33. bartonf $492
33. mtnrider81 $492
35. PokerBrian322 $490
36. riggstad $487
37. wormmsu $475
38. scots_chris $474
39. Mike_Maloney $456
40. RecessRampage $434
41. Otis $429
42. twoblackaces $426
43. Miami Don $402
44. Zeem $389
45. Joe Speaker $384
46. jeciimd $382
46. Jordan $382
48. leftylu $374
49. cardgrrl $371
49. lightning36 $371
51. ChapelncHill $353
52. OMGitsPokerFool $324
53. buckhoya $312
53. oossuuu754 $312
55. Wigginx $288
56. Fishy McDonk $277
57. actyper $276
58. Irongirl $252
58. Manik79 $252
60. Wippy1313 $248
61. Easycure $244
62. Garthmeister $216
62. wwonka69 $216
64. Omega_man_99 $210
65. katiemother $209
66. Pushmonkey72 $208
67. Thepokergrind $198
68. Mookie $191
69. StatikKling $180
70. 23Skidoo $176
71. Santa Clauss $170
72. jimdniacc $166
73. Iakaris $162
73. Smokkee $162
75. cemfredmd $156
76. lester000 $147
77. Heffmike $145
78. Julkeus $144
79. brdweb $143
80. DDionysus $137
81. Patchmaster $135
82. InstantTragedy $129
83. NinaW $120
84. UnTiltable $118
85. Fluxer $110
86. -o-LuckTruck-o- $103
87. hoops15mt $95
88. Gracie $94
88. Scurvydog $94
90. Shag0103 $84
91. mattazuma $82
92. crazdgamer $82
93. PhinCity $80
94. Presidentdave $79
95. maf212 $78
96. evy35 $72
97. Alceste $71
97. dbirider $71
99. kevin-with-AK $66
100. Rake Feeder $53

So what a huge week for the 2007 Hoy moneyboard! We're still squarely at 100 total players cashing in the MATH during all of 2007, as for only the second time this year, every player who cashed is a previous casher in the event this year. That said, cmitch comes out of nowhere to power into the moneyboard lead, surpassing columbo who had taken over the lead for the first time from Bayne, who was back to his luckboxy ways in the Hoy this week, after columbo had just a one-week reign atop the moneyboard. Meanwhile, surf also jumps into 6th, and fuel, on a huge roll this week already, also climbs back into the top 10 in 9th place overall. Congratulations again to all of this week's cashers, and I will see you all next Monday night for the next Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt.

Speaking of the next MATH tournament, I've been kicking around some ideas but I'm interested in hearing what you all think about the format for the next couple of weeks. Like I said I have a few fun ideas of my own, but although ultimately I will make the final decision, I am always interested in what you guys, the people who play in these events to make them the great fun things that they are, would like to see. So what's the word, guys? Do you just want to go back to the regular, standard nlh format? Does anyone want to change the game up outright, play something like stud, razz, HORSE or something similar to that? Or should we stick with holdem but just switch up the structure a little bit like I have been so far during the past month? I am very interested in hearing everyone's thoughts, as there are only two more MATH tournaments that are part of the BBTwo, and I plan to do something out of the ordinary for both of them. You know, just to be in control of everything, you know how I am.

One other quick thought for the day -- stb recently posted about something that I think is interesting. He suggests that making all of these blonkaments into double-stack tournaments might actually be increasing the lucksack factor in these things, and that maybe we should consider switching some of these things back to regular 1500-chip stacks. Now that is sort of a contrarian point in my opinion, as the conventional wisdom is definitely that larger starting stacks allows for some more play, and some later-street play especially in the earlygoing, all of which should theoretically increase the chance for the skilled players out there to end up on top. With the 1500 chip stacks and the same blinds structure, the issue I find tends to be that it can be difficult to recover from one bad setup, one bad beat or just one poorly-played hand, whereas with 3000 chips to start, you can easily lose a bunch of chips early and still have more than enough to get back into contention within the next hour or two.

But then stb argues that this exact possibility could be what is causing so much lucksackery in the first place, and I think he makes an interesting point. Because the players know they can afford to slop around in the earlygoing when the blinds are low, even betting or raising on the flop or turn without much of a hand or just on a longshot draw or something, the double stacks actually encourages people to play just like that, thereby leading to more dumbo suckouts and just generally shitty play across the board. On some level it is difficult to argue with this point, as stb says he himself plays this way on occasion, and I would be remiss if I did not weigh in to say that I most definitely tend to play a little looser very early in the double-stack tournaments than I ever would in a 1500-chip event. I guess my point is that, overall, I think I like that we have the ability to play a bit more hands and see some more flops and turns early. I like the freedom to sling some chips early and try to make some moves and do some stuff to some people and see where the board takes me. But again I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this issue: single stack or double stack?

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Rebuy MATH, and Effed Again in the Mook

Welcome back to pokerland, and I hope that everyone had as awesome and relaxing of a holiday and hopefully a vacation as I did with the Hammer Family for the past four days. The BBTwo rolled on last week, with someone named ricky424 I think winning the Riverchasers on Thanksgiving night, and I know that budohorseman won the Mookie on Thanksgiving Eve, so congrats to the two of them for winning the latest seats to the BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions coming up in a month or so.

And speaking of the BBTwo, don't forget tonight is the latest event in the challenge, the fabulous $10 rebuy tournament that is tonight's Mondays at the Hoy tournament:

So don't forget to register for tonight's 10pm ET event (password as always is "hammer"). And yes, again it is a $10 rebuy tournament, something which I've wanted to run for some time and I am really looking forward to. I've had a blast changing things up this month with the Hoy as part of the BBT, and I will say that the feedback I've gotten generally on the changes has been overwhelmingly positive, in particular about the early end times with the turbo events, despite a few people who have been vocal about their disapproval of some of the changes. But I think I've taken care of those in the comments to my blog over the past couple of weeks, if you know what I mean. And I hope you do.

So getting back to the Mookie last week, I ended up busting out in 4th place to budo, the eventual winner of the whole thing. Budo has a nice post up about his big win, go check it out if you haven't already. But it is funny how much people think I'm going to rant to them about any play where I bust. I'll get to the hand I busted on in a minute. But I had run all the way to 4th place in the Mookie, my best Mook finish in a good few months, and I thought I should write a little bit about that here.

For starters, I was the chip leader at the end of the first hour, and again at the end of the second hour, which is always nice. I also have to say, after all the bullshit that I post up here about the crap beats I take on an almost hourly basis in my own play (last night knocked out of tournaments when my AA lost to 88 allin after the flop when an 8 hit the river, and lost with KQ on KQx flop allin after the flop when my opponent's 66 made a 6 at the river for a regheyulous set as well), that I laid one of the nastiest setups of all time on my buddy jeciimd within the first 30 minutes or so of the Mookie. I don't remember the exact details, but basically jec and I saw a free heads-up flop out of the two blinds, with me holding 56o. The flop came, amazingly, 347 rainbow. I literally can't remember the last time I flopped the inside nut straight like that, but it happened for me and I don't plan to gloss over it like some people might. I always bitch to no end when this exact thing happens against me, so in fairness I thought I should mention this hand here. I flopped the redigulous nut straight, and on top of it, long story short, jec had flopped a set of 4s. It was atrocious. Long story short, we got it allin I think on the turn, and my straight miraculously held up. It was, as I said above, the worst setup I can ever remember laying on anybody. Flopped inside straight against flopped set in a blind vs. blind confrontation. Rest assured, if that happened to me, you would read about it here for a month.

OK so other than that, I played well, got I think one premium hand and didn't do much with it, but otherwise took advantage of some good flops, and more importantly, a lot of good reads, and ran that early big stack all the way to the final table, which I entered somewhere in the middle. Once again I did not record any suckouts in the entire tournament that I can recall, but that is par for the phucking course for me so I can't complain. At the final table, the players started pushing with garbage as is usual, and I was able to maintain my stack and even to take out stb when he made top pair or something similar against my overpair in another setuppy hand of my own, but one which was also not a suckout just like the jec hand in that I was ahead on all streets. I think stb went out in 5th, leaving me with a brief chip lead down to 4 remaining.

And that's when my Mookie curse kicked in.

I pick up AQo, a veritable monster 4-handed. Long story short, I raised preflop, budo reraised me (minraised, as I recall), and I pushed, hoping for a call no matter what he had as long as it wasn't AA, KK, QQ or AK. Unfortunately, he had KK. Right there it was very obvious to me where I was at -- if an Ace hits the board, I win my first Mookie, hands down. I had the most experience and I believe I was the best late-game player at that point in the tournament (it was me, budo, LJ and Donkette remaining), and I would have had a sizeable chip lead as we were all fairly close in chips at that time. But I was behind, and even though I have lost exactly 664 blonkaments this year when my pocket pair was called allin by AJ to an Ace hitting the board, of course no help for me and I was extremely short stacked with still the 4 players left.

Now, about that hand for a minute. AQ is clearly a monster 4-handed, there is no arguing that. And the minraise was a bit interesting to me from budo, I won't deny that either. In retrospect, as I reviewed the hand history for a good two hours after being eliminated from the Mookie, I eventually concluded that I should have given more respek to the fact that budo minraised me, put him on a possible monster, and it probably would have been the best move to just call the minraise, and then I could look into folding what turned out to be a raggy flop and lived to another day. That's probably what I could / should have done. But in the end, I can't escape that KK against AQ is just a tremendous setup hand 4-handed in a tournament with huge blinds and very low Ms for everyone involved (no one had an M higher than 10, at any point at the final table as far as I can recall). Even given the minraise, I really think pushing with the AQ is not necessarily a terrible move. Of course I wish I had played this more conservatively in retrospect, but as I've said here many times, I was just continuing with the same exact strategy and attitude that had gotten me to that point in the first place, which I assure you did not involve calling small reraises preflop just to fold to most flops with an almost-surely-ahead AQ preflop down to 4 players remaining. I mean, even if budo has something like TT or JJ to be minraising there, I still kinda like my AQ push. And I've got one of the Aces and one of the Queens already, and we're just 4-handed, so AA, QQ or AK were even less likely holding for him in my mind. In the end, I chalk this one up to some tremendous luck and the absolute perfect time for budo, and again for me, just the worst possible luck at the worst possible time for me. Again, par for the course for me and the Mookie, what can I say.

I did manage to survive a good while longer by pushing with abandon and not getting called. One time I might have gotten called by someone who was behind and my favorite actually held up, but otherwise I was dealt all garbage and had nothing to show for it. Eventually I found A7 and pushed from I think utg, still 4-handed, and budo waited a while before calling me with A8, which held up when he flopped an 8 to outlast my rivered 7 and IGH in 4th place. Now, reading budo's blog post on his big Mookie win, it is clear that budo is expecting some huge rant from me on that hand. Sorry to disappoint, but while I think the call with A8o was a bit on the reckless side, I don't know how I can complain there. I was pushing with A7o, and more than that, I had been pushing with utter stinky garbage quite a bit, and I can't say the A8o call is that horrible. It's not a play I would have made in budo's spot, but with me short stacked and probably pushing with a pretty wide range, his call of my A7o allin preflop with his A8o is defensible, plain and simple. Of course no suckout for me, but that hand wasn't so crazy to me and I commend budo on making the right call.

What is the story as far as I'm concerned of last week's Mookie, however, was budo's incredible luck at the final table. I mean, stone cold incredible. First he picks up KK when down to 4-handed, which alone is huge and which I don't know the last time I can recall getting a premium hand like that that late in an mtt. What's more, his KK when down to 4-handed was up against AQ. That my friends is about as lucky as it gets in this spot. Then he manages to call allin with A8 against my A7 and that works out for him and holds up, which as we discussed was not to me a huge issue if not a little reckless for a guy with a lot of chips in that spot. But then when down to heads-up against LJ, budo again picked up KK -- think about the last time you can recall someone picking up KK when 4-handed and again when 2-handed. And what's more, the flop of 644 on that KK hand against LJ gave LJ top pair top kicker with her A6. So, to recap, budo got KK against AQ 4-handed, and then got KK again against TPTK when 2-handed. Now that shiat, my friends, is some sick ass luck. And to budo's credit, he states as much in his blog, that he got "mega lucky". He did, and I respek the man for stating as much. One thing I can't fucking stand is these posers who luckshit their way to a big victory and then go on their blog and talk about all the skill they used to get there without mentioning the sickshit luckstuff they came up with to pull it off. Budo got lucky, and he played his lucky hands very well on his way to a Mookie victory and a BBTwo ToC seat. Congrats to budo, and I only hope I can muster up some similar luck one of these days in the Mookie myself. I've already won these other blonkey tournaments before, but the Mookie just continues to elude me. Adding AQ into KK 4-handed fits very nicely right in to the rest of my list of Mookie fuckoff stories.

Par for the course I tell you.

See you tonight at 10pm ET on full tilt for the fabulous $10 rebuy at Mondays at the Hoy!!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Four Stages To Dealing With Bad Beats

On the recommendation from a few people, mostly from the KOD himself who I really haven't seen have such a positive reaction to a poker book as this one in quite a while, I bought and started reading The Poker Mindset by two donkeys named Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger. I'm enjoying it, though perhaps not quite as much as KOD, because while some of its ideas, while not necessarily earth-shatteringly new, certainly are presented in a flat-out straightforward way that I think would be useful to many people who play the game of poker regularly. In particular, tiltmonkeys like myself, KOD and many of you out there could probably benefit from the authors' way of telling it like it is with respect to the required mindset to be a successful poker player, and that is something I wanted to focus on today.

In Chapter 4, the authors discuss bad beats and losing big pots, and go on to describe the four stages of dealing with such losses. These are presented in order from least useful (and perhaps most common) to the most useful approach and attitude one should have about losing a big pot and/or getting bad beat in poker, something every single one of us has to deal with all the time. Some of us (me) more than others (you) of course, as it is a simple fact that the better you play the game, the more often you will get in ahead and thus the more often you will get bad beat, while the worse you are, the more often you get in behind and thus the more often you will have the opportunity to lay a bad beat on someone. But the specter of getting bad beat is always present for all of us, and that's why I thought this approach in The Poker Mindset was worthy of mentioning here today.

So here are the four stages of dealing with bad beats and big losses, according to the book (I am paraphrasing here). Ideally, you want to progress up between the stages such that, while most people start at Stage 1, you really want to be st Stage 4, or for sure at least at Stage 3. I find these to be a helpful way of evaluating your own game and your own approach to the lows associated with any regular poker playing:

1. Stage 1 -- Anger: "What a fonkey! How could he call with that shitty draw? How can I consistently be the unluckiest person in the world? I'm going to play every pot he is in from now on to get my chips back!"

2. Stage 2 -- Frustration: "What a bad beat! How am I going to win at poker when there's always some fonkey willing to chase an inside straight or 2nd pair shizzy kicker? I know over the long run that guy will lose all his money, but I really needed that pot. That loss really hurts."

3. Stage 3 -- Acceptance: "Ouch! Well that's just the way poker works some times. I know I'll get his money in the long run if he keeps playing like that, so I just have to be patient with this guy. Now I know he is a calling station, so I will label or note him accordingly and play him with that in mind in the future. I wonder if I could have played that hand any differently to increase my chances of winning the pot."

4. Stage 4 -- Indifference: "OK so now I know that the big blind will call down with pretty much anything, so I will take that into account in future hands with him. I wonder what the button had to have bet on the flop before folding to the raise on the turn. I should note that he continuation-bet in that spot for future hands. Maybe I should have raised on the flop in the hopes of pushing the big blind out of the hand at that point? But then again do I really want to push the big blind out if he's willing to pay off all those bets with such a weak draw."

Now, most of you may think I am a real tiltmonkey, and lord knows I tend to write pissay blog posts when someone sucks out on me after a horrible play. That said, I actually think I score fairly well on this scale. Let's take a look.

Obviously, I have some qualities of a few of these different stages. Clearly I get angry when I get bad beat, and to be honest I'm not quite sure I understand why I should not get angry. I mean, no way am I indifferent to a bad beat loss. That is like a very zen view of poker that, in my opinion, very very few people ever reach. Certainly there isn't a blogger in our group that I can think of who never gives a cripe at all when they lose to a bad beat following a horrible play by their opponent. Like I said, I'm simply not at a place where I care not at all about losing in a big spot to the world's worst player making the world's worst play.

That said, I do accept completely that bad beats are a part of this game. I don't know how many of you out there railbird me with any regularity, but if you do, you will see that I literally probably get bad beat out of 1 in every 3 tournaments I play. It may be more than that. I am constantly getting in ahead and ending up behind. It's the story of my effing life guys. Last night was a perfect example, where I lost one sng with my buddy buckhoya when my allin with AK was called by QT on a KQx flop, and then a Queen hit the turn to send me home on the bubble. How ghey. That suckout right there, based on a horrible, reckless play by my opponent, cost me at least $60 and probably more like $100 on average. Just like that. It bothered me when it happened, but I didn't flip out at the guy. I'm not saying I never, ever do that, but as a general statement, the fact is that I get bad beat out of one or two tournaments every single night, or I get recockusetup like the hand against cmitch in the MATH the other night when I turned trips but he had flopped the redickulous nut straight with his J9o, and I normally don't flip out at all. I know I'm not just the "angry" or "frustrated" reacter (Stage 1 or Stage 2) because I used to be just that. I used to flip out every single time I lost like this, and it used to ruin my night, I would go on tilt, yadda yadda yadda you guys know the routine. Well, I'm not even close to that anymore. A bad beat might pizz me off on occasion, but in general I actually tend to take these things in stride nowadays, a whole heck of a lot more than I once did. I do understand that bad beats are a part of the game, and in a good 95% or more of the cases, I take them in stride.

More than that, I always note everybody when they make a shit play to bad beat me like this. I take very detailed notes, to the degree that I will make sure to remind myself for the next time of what they did by saying "will call with 2nd pair shitty kicker on flop on sng bubble". I want to know this in detail -- as opposed to just saying "UBER FONKEY" in my note or something like that -- because the next time I play with this dinkledonk, I want to be able to use their specific weakness against them. And I do it, too. There's nothing better than sitting down at the table with a guy who I've played with and noted with specificity in the past, and and being able to take direct advantage of exactly what that opponent does poorly at the game of poker. And it happens all the time.

So, despite the impression that some of you might get from reading here every day, the vast majority of the time I get bad beat, I take it in stride, I don't go nuts, and I make specific note of my opponent's bad play such that I can take advantage of the guy at a later date. That is my MO when I get bad beat, plain and simple. And I'm always thinking about what I could have done or can do differently the next time to win these pots. In all, this makes me think I am closer to Stage 3 than anything else. No way I am at Stage 4 -- like I said, not only am I not "indifferent" to taking bad beats, but I'm not even at the point where I think I should be indifferent to a bad beat. I don't even really understand that frame of mind, and I don't see true indifference as even a goal that I ought to be striving for, let alone something I actually attain. So I'm definitely not at Stage 4. But I would classify myself as Stage 3, with some angry/frustrated tendencies still from Stage 1 or 2. Not sure if I'll ever truly not be frustrated or angry at a given bad beat, though believe me when I say I have more than accepted that these are just a part of the game.

If only the poor players didn't get rewarded so often for their poor play against me, I could see true Stage 3 as a real possibility. It's still a constant struggle for me, that is for sure, but I think I am doing ok from this perspective overall after a few years of consistent, solid and regular online and live poker play.

Which stage of dealing with bad beats do you think your game is at?

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MATH Recap, and Improving Your Game

First off, thank you for all the encouragement from the commenters to yesterday's...uh...interesting post. Normally I might apologize to my readers for having to see that kind of rantage, but it seems that the overall reaction was one of enjoyment to read my honest thoughts, and to that extent then I am happy I could help brighten some of your days as I brightened my own just by writing that crap down. But I really do appreciate the kind words and the encouragement, and the suggestions for me to help address my poker issues these days. Who knows where this crazy game of ours will take me next, but I am truly appreciative of all you guys and the thoughts and suggestions that I have constantly been peppered with over these past couple of years. In fact that's a perfect segue into what I plan to write about today, but first let me update with what happened at the Hoy last night on full tilt.

It seems like only yesterday when I read on Daddy's blog -- in actuality about six months ago -- that he would be playing in his first Mondays at the Hoy tournament as part of the original BBT. I was honored, as I was with my regular weekly tournament's first visit by the likes of Iggy, Pauly, Al, Speaker, Change and all those guys I consider to be my literal idols and the idols of the blogiverse in general. A visit from the sickest man alive to my own private tournament was quite an honor, but I was also impressed by the quality of Daddy's play, and this week it all finally came to fruition when he took down his first Hoy title, winning the latest BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions freeroll seat in the process after outlasting 61 of his closest fake internet friends in the most skill-based of all the Hoy tournaments we've ever run.

So with 62 runners on the night, it made for a sweet $1488 prize pool for the latest MATH event, a turbo 6-max extravaganza that I knew was designed to ensure that the most skilled player took it down and got into the Aussie Millions ToC. The action was fast and furious like only a turbo event can be, with several players busting out in the first 5 or 10 minutes just the way I like to see. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance at all to suck out on anyone, making this just like the last 85 tournaments I've played in. My starting table must read my blog, because for the first 45 minutes or so nobody would play a dam pot with me, except for one where I got 99% of the way towards being sucked out on again. Basically I had top pair, I think maybe with the sooted jackace or something, on a board of J32 with the 3 and the 2 both in my soot. Long story short, he bet the flop, I raised allin, and he called me with? 88. My Jacks were ahead and could only be beaten by two outs. Unfortunately, as we have seen recently with me, two outs twice is far more than it takes to beat me in a blonkament, and the river brought one of those two 8s to give my opponent a reflockulous set against my top pair. It wasn't until the chips slid my way that I realized it was the 8 of my soot, giving me the flush and reminding me that he actually only had one out, not the two I had thought. Still, the momentary laugh that welled up within me was worth the price of admission right there. And don't worry, about 30 minutes later I found myself allin against Loretta with two overcards and a flush draw, 15 outs total, and lost with the favored hand to knock me out of 2nd place overall. Not a suckout by any means, but worth noting. I also got recockusetup against Blinders when he was dealt pocket Aces (who the fug gets pocket Aces during a turbo? Luckbox!), following that up by flopping a set of Aces on the AKx flop, and then of course I made two pairs with KT on the river, costing me half my stack once again in the unavoidable setup hand. And then the piece de resistance, when I reraised my college buddy buckhoya allin while back in 3rd place when down to 20 players remaining with my 99, and he told me in the girly that he was calling just so he could go to bed, which he did and flipped up A9. Ace on the flop of course, and I was in last place and gone two hands later. How fun.

So, in the end I recorded no suckouts of my own and in fact never even came close, and got beat from behind once, recockulously and unavoidably set up once, and sucked out on horribly once. Chalk another one up for the bad guys. I just cannot get out of my own way in these blonkaments no matter what I do or how well or bad I play or how hard I try to get in behind and suck out. One thing I will say though is that, at least for now, I think the turbo experiement is over with the Hoy. I know, I know that's going to upset most of you, for sure. But we had some much earlier-ending tournaments for the past two weeks and hopefully that's been helpful for some of you wimps or west coasters out there, and I figure I must have been doing something right when I was switched to a new table for the first time, and sitting there in the chat from just before I showed up at the new table was this comment from NumbBono: "F Hoy and his turbo tournaments." So that's always a good sign that the public is happy with what you're doing :).

Seriously though, no more turbo for now although personally I thoroughly enjoy a good old-fashioned luckdonk fest. In fact, next week's MATH tournament is already set up on full tilt, and it is another brand new style of tournament for the Hoy: a $10 rebuy event. I've been looking forward to this one for a long time, and in fact have been talking with a few other bloggers about setting up a regular $10 rebuy blogger event, so I'm excited to move away from turbo for now and on to something else new and exciting. Now, after two early weeks for the MATH, next Monday is gonna be a late one with an hour long rebuy period starting at 10pm ET, but I remain steadfast in not changing the start time so the west coast donkeys can still get in there and contribute to the prize pool. And I picked $10 instead of the normal $26 buyin so as to keep the total buyin costs roughly the same at least for the normal non-donkified players -- you can still buy in, rebuy once and add on at the end of monkey hour all for roughly the same cost as one normal Hoy buyin. Hopefully you will all enjoy this latest variation on a common theme, and I know I for one already cannot wait until next Monday for that one. As I mentioned in my comments yesterday, I only wish I could pick my starting table next week, and stick all the luckboxes and all the suckout artists on there so I could get my revenge again and again and again against you clowns. Oh well, you can't have everything I guess.

So back to this week's MATH results. Here are your 8 cashers for the event:

1. Daddy $491.04
2. buckhoya $312.48
3. Gary Cox $215.76
4. columbo $163.68
5. cardgrrl $119.04
6. mattazuma $81.84
7. cracknaces $52.08
8. emptyman $52.08

And here is the updated 2007 MATH moneyboard, including the results of this week's tournament:

1. Columbo $1526
2. Bayne_s $1400
3. Hoyazo $1162
4. RaisingCayne $1110
5. Daddy $999
6. cmitch $840
7. Kajagugu $806
8. Astin $793
9. Pirate Wes $792
10. VinNay $775
11. Tripjax $759
12. Iggy $745
13. Gary Cox $734
14. NewinNov $677
15. Fuel55 $666
16. Lucko21 $665
17. Waffles $650
18. IslandBum1 $642
19. XxMagiciaNxX $630
19. JJ $630
21. Surflexus $608
22. Jamyhawk $576
23. Buddydank $553
24. Numbbono $549
25. swimmom95 $545
26. Chad $537
27. Emptyman $513
28. Byron $510
29. Julius Goat $507
30. bartonf $492
30. mtnrider81 $492
32. PokerBrian322 $490
33. riggstad $487
34. wormmsu $475
35. scots_chris $474
36. LJ $470
37. Mike_Maloney $456
38. RecessRampage $434
39. Otis $429
40. twoblackaces $426
41. Miami Don $402
42. Zeem $389
43. Joe Speaker $384
44. jeciimd $382
44. Jordan $382
46. Blinders $379
47. leftylu $374
48. cardgrrl $371
48. lightning36 $371
50. ChapelncHill $353
51. OMGitsPokerFool $324
52. buckhoya $312
52. oossuuu754 $312
54. Wigginx $288
55. ScottMc $282
56. Fishy McDonk $277
57. actyper $276
58. Irongirl $252
58. Manik79 $252
60. Wippy1313 $248
61. Easycure $244
62. Garthmeister $216
62. wwonka69 $216
64. Omega_man_99 $210
65. katiemother $209
66. Pushmonkey72 $208
67. Thepokergrind $198
68. Mookie $191
69. StatikKling $180
70. 23Skidoo $176
71. Santa Clauss $170
72. jimdniacc $166
73. Iakaris $162
73. Smokkee $162
75. cemfredmd $156
76. lester000 $147
77. Heffmike $145
78. Julkeus $144
79. brdweb $143
80. DDionysus $137
81. Patchmaster $135
82. InstantTragedy $129
83. NinaW $120
84. UnTiltable $118
85. Fluxer $110
86. -o-LuckTruck-o- $103
87. hoops15mt $95
88. Gracie $94
88. Scurvydog $94
90. Shag0103 $84
91. mattazuma $82
92. crazdgamer $82
93. PhinCity $80
94. Presidentdave $79
95. maf212 $78
96. evy35 $72
97. Alceste $71
97. dbirider $71
99. kevin-with-AK $66
100. Rake Feeder $53

So this turned out to be a large week for the Hoy moneyboard, as we got two big moves in the top 5. First, this week's winner, Daddy, moves into 5th place thanks to his $491 windfall in addition to his ToC seat today, an impressive performance given such a small number of MATH events he has played in. But the biggest news of all is that Columbo busted out with a big cash this week as well, propelling him above BBT1 winner Bayne and into first place for the year in total MATH winnings! This is the first time columbo has led the leaderboard all year, now with a $126 lead over Bayne in second place and nearly $400 over myself in 3rd, so congratulations out to columbo in addition to Daddy for their big moves this week in Mondays at the Hoy.

So, I struggled a lot about what to write about today, poker strategy wise. I've got tons of ideas swirling around my head as always, much of which is affected by current events in the world of poker and bloggers. In the end, I have decided that today I would write a little about improving your game. It's something that I referred to in yesterday's post and for whatever reason it's still on my mind today. I'll put it this way: anyone who is truly serious about their poker game -- anyone, with no exceptions at all -- must make constant improvement a constant focus. Period. You must. And don't get me wrong -- you can play poker all you want, and not give a crap about improving your game. I'm not trying to tell you that you have to do anything. But, if you're serious about your game, then you have no choice but to work to improve. Constantly. And it's hard work, don't get me wrong. But it has to be done, if you really, truly care about getting better. Nobody is going to deny this either.

Now, to different people, this constant focus on improving your game to prevent it from stagnating or even moving backwards can take different forms and mean different things. To some it can mean constantly reading poker books. To others it can mean regularly discussing hands and hand histories with their poker friends. Some people may join ghey forums like pokerxfactor or cardrunners and pay their hard-earned money to hear other people's strategies and thoughts on the game. Maybe others will prefer to work alone, setting aside an hour a day to review their own hand histories and take an honest look at their game and at what has been working and what hasn't been working for them. Personally, as I've said previously, I do pretty much all of the above. I've had some nice success playing this game we all know and hate love, but I go through these phases where I basically suck. I can't tell you how many times I have realized yet another weakness in my game over the past few years (and longer, really), and adjusted the way I play in those situations as a result. I remember when I was raising too much preflop. I remember when I was betting too big on the flop. I remember when I was continuation-betting too much and too indiscriminately. I remember when I was playing too loose preflop. I could go on and on. But I figured these things out about my own game, through a combination of reading, studying, talking with others and spending a huge amount of time reviewing my own hand histories, screen shots, and shit I've done at the virtual felt, both with myself and with other people whose game I respect.

What can you do to improve your game? Here are five general ideas I have used and do use regularly, not that any of these are anything revolutionary:

1. Read. I know it's hard for many people to find time to read poker books, but there simply is no other better resource for building your poker knowledge than poker books, articles and similar materials. I've mentioned this stuff several times in the past here, but to recap, following is a list of poker texts that I have personally read and that I personally will say are completely essential to anyone serious about improving:

a. Super/System. The nlh section written by Doyle was the first real poker strategy book I ever read, and to this day it remains the foundation for my style of aggressive play, truly the only strategy for playing consistently winning poker. Tournaments or cash.

b. Harrington on Holdem. As I've mentioned, I found Volume 3 to be pretty much worthless and in fact to detract overall from the value of his books, but Volume 1 is really essential for any tournament beginner, and Volume 2 is perhaps the single best book ever written about poker tournament play. I've said it here before and I'll say it again, but if you haven't read Super/System and Harrington, then I'm better than you in poker tournaments, period. 'Nuff said.

c. Caro's Book of Poker Tells. More applicable to live poker, but frankly the concepts listed here can apply more broadly to poker in general. To me this is essential reading for any serious poker player.

d. You might as well pick up the Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide as well. This is not quite as awesome as the first three books above, but any time you can get that much accomplished, proven greatness together in one place to write about play before the flop and after the flop all in one place, it's a solid read.

e. Phil Hellmuth's Play Poker Like the Pros. If you're into learning about Limit holdem as well as the other HORSE games, and you can get around some of the worst writing style ever including massive! overuse! of! apostrophes!, then this is a great primer of those games from one of the world's indisputably best tournament poker players.

f. Theory of Poker and Holdem Poker for Advanced Players by Sklansky/Malmuth/Miller. This stuff is key for any limit holdem poker player, and you can't help but improve your no-limit game as well just from reading these classic poker texts. Period.

g. No-Limit Holdem Theory and Practice by Sklansky. A recent text but it's one that I have read and re-read at this point probably four or five times. Lots of great stuff for any nlh cash player.

The other thing I would say about reading poker books is just to say that me, personally, I tend to read these things 3 or 4 times at least before I feel like I've actually "read" them. I mean, I have without a doubt read Super/System cover to cover at least 20 times. You read that right. My copy of the book is so worn that I had to buy a new one just to be able to keep it all together. I've read those other books on the list at least 3 or 4 times, every single one of them. That's the only way to really absorb all that material, no matter how great your reading comprehension is. These aren't like novels, and it takes tons of repetition for this stuff to really sink in.

2. Practice what you read. Along with reading and re-reading the seminal poker texts out there, you have got to practice. Practice by playing while you're reading these books, and make yourself apply the techniques and strategies you're learning. If you just sit and read all day without any practice involved, you are not going to be able to "get it". There's just no way, no matter how much you read and how much you want to improve. You have to read, then practice, then read again, and then practice again. It's the only way.

3. Discuss. Find people whose poker game you respect, and talk to them. Discuss hand histories. Would they have called or folded with QQ in that spot? Would they have folded or reraised with AQ in that spot? Do they like to value bet 1/3 of the pot, 2/3 of the pot or allin in that particular situation. Run this shit by other people. And please, find people who actually have game and who actually understand how poker works. That part is up to you, but discussion with other living, breathing human beings has been a major, major reason I ever started this blog in the first place, and it has without a doubt been the single biggest reason I have had whatever successes I've had in this game.

4. Listen. To me, this really goes without saying and goes right along with item #3 above, but along with discussing poker strategy with other experienced and skilled players, you also have to listen to what these people fucking tell you. Believe me, there's no point to talking poker with other good players if you're just going to disregard what they tell you. Sadly I know a lot of people who do just this. I guess they think it sounds good or looks good or something to say to anyone who will listen how much they're working with so-and-so or whatshisname on their game, but in reality, they simply don't change their game at all as a result. The only reason to talk poker strategy with other players is to have an open mind about rethinking some of the thoughts and ideas you yourself bring to the game. Otherwise, seriously, don't waste their time or yours doing this shit. No point to talking with someone else about poker only to refuse to apply anything you hear or anything you think you're "learning".

5. Be quick to identify leaks in your game, and then react to them. Just like I mentioned in point #4 above, it does you no good to continually identify the same weakness over and over and over and over and over again, and then just keep making the same exact mistake that you know exists, over and over and over and over and over again. That is insanity. If you realize that you have been c-betting too regularly and need to pay more attention to the texture of the flop, then start paying more fucking attention to the texture of the flop. If you find you have been misplaying middle pocket pairs, then try something new the next time you're dealt a pocket pair. Play it less aggressively, or even fold them more preflop if you have to if you've been continually busting with these hands from tournaments of late. If you wake up one day and realize that you've been putting everyone else on a bluff every single time they raise from late position preflop and losing a lot of big pots as a result, then stop assuming these people are always bluffing so much. In some ways you're a damn fool if you keep identifying the same problems again and again, but you just keep reacting in the exact same way every next time you're placed in that situation. Identify, and react. Don't just identify and identify and identify the same problems without attempting to fix them.

6. Don't make instantaneous decisions at the table. I can't stress how important this one is, especially to some people, and invariably it seems to be tied up very well with item #5 above. You can't imagine what I feel when I see someone who I know claims has been working on a particular leak in his game, just go and do the same dumb, indefensibly -EV instacall the very next time they're faced with the same situation. Instacalling has its time and its place, and I'm not trying to condemn the entire practice of instacalling as an activity here. But what I am saying is, there is nothing wrong at all with taking a few seconds, or even several seconds, any time you are faced with a situation at the poker table where you might have an opportunity to make a smarter, better-thought-out play. So, back to our examples above, if you've been calling off too much bullshit with shitty medium pocket pairs for a long time, you cannot allow yourself to be the person instacalling two big preflop allin reraises with pocket 6s early in a tournament and with one guy still to act behind you who has already called one preflop raise in the hand. That is indefensible and it is the definition of not getting better. Instacalling has a time and a place, but most of the time it's a bad idea in most poker situations. If you could get just that idea into your head, your game will improve right there, without a doubt.

And next time you instacall two allins ahead of you even with a hand like pocket 9s, you just fucked up. You might go on to win the hand. You might actually make the call and turn out to be up against pocket 8s and pocket 7s. But if you instacalled there, that is bad tournament poker and you just fucked up. Indisputably. Accept it.

OK that's all for today. Tonight will be my first night at the virtual felt without a blonkament (no bodog for this donkey) and without FTOPS to focus on for better than a month now, so it will be interesting to see where I end up sitting in my nightly tribulations at full tilt. If you have any fun ideas, hit me up on the girly chat and I'll get in there with you.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Thinking Happy Thoughts

I was going to start today by saying that I don't even know where to begin, but to be honest, I've already been starting off like that for at least a week or so, and the shit I've endured and seen over the past several days in the poker world has only gotten worse. I don't even know where to begin beginning anymore. I've already given up ever winning a BBTwo tournament, I've already lost every which way imaginable in the FTOPS, and I already can't stop myself from losing to instacalls by utter donkeys, even with completely shitty hands that are significantly behind my own. The depths to which my frustration and outright anger about this game have sunk are without a doubt at an all-time low, and I don't even need to say stoopid things about what I'm going to do or not do about it anymore. I am at a total and complete loss. I know reading this blog has been like reading a depressed, angry mental patient's memoirs over the past few weeks, and let me tell you right now: it's only going to get worse. If you haven't enjoyed reading recently any more than I've enjoyed writing and (believe me) living through this shit, then stop now.

I guess first let me update you on what's happened since I posted here last. On Friday was FTOPS #12 in limit holdem. I dominated that tournament, tremendously. As with just about every other FTOPS tournament I played in (more on that later), I made it well through half the field and had more than twice the average stack about 3 1/2 hours in. Then, in the span of 15 minutes, it was river suckout, river suckout, and then when short-stacked, run TPTK into pocket Aces, and I was done. Just like that. I'd love to say I messed something up in there, but there's no way you could play it any differently than I played any of those three hands that is anything but -EV as compared to what I did. I was ahead, I knew I was ahead, and then I got riversucked for a straight and for trips, and then of course there was the pocket Aces. In fact, at the same time on Friday night I played in the donkament, and wouldn't ya know it I got busted with TPTK vs. pocket Aces there too, the fourth fucking time I ran into pocket Aces in just that tournament alone, and I'm talking about just probably 90 minutes of play.

On Saturday night I sat down to play my one and only satellite into the FTOPS ME. It was one of those $100 buyin satellites, it had 74 players and I believe paid 14 spots into the ME. I dominated. It was ugly what I did to people. Again and again. I was in 1st place when we reached the 14 money spots, and I ended up winning it outright just for good measure. I played in the ME on Sunday evening at 6pm ET, and I quickly doubled up against a complete tool when I flopped a set of 8s on a Queen-high flop, and this jackass paid me off his entire stack with me betting or even raising on every single street when he had just KQ. Good stuff. Anyways I ran through this thing playing very, very well, and spent most of the first 3 1/2 hours of the tournament at around 15k, three times the starting "superstack" of 5k. Then this fun hand went down against the table chip leader:

FullTiltPoker Game #4222309179: FTOPS Main Event (30641981), Table 162 - 200/400 Ante 50 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:40:27 ET - 2007/11/18
Seat 1: EroEza (9,012)
Seat 2: Hockeystud94 (17,050)
Seat 3: tilteymcfish (13,290)
Seat 4: BrandonPL (10,053)
Seat 5: The-Toilet 0 (11,843)
Seat 6: iranewport (19,630)
Seat 7: hoyazo (17,677)
Seat 8: 2raven (39,611)
Seat 9: pcon23 (25,483)
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hoyazo [Ad Ac]
*Action folds around to me in the cutoff.
hoyazo raises to 1,640
2raven calls 1,640
*Everyone else folds, so we see a heads-up flop:
*** FLOP *** [9s 3c 2s]
hoyazo bets 3,400
2raven calls 3,400
*** TURN *** [9s 3c 2s] [3s]
hoyazo checks
2raven bets 8,000
hoyazo raises to 12,587, and is all in
2raven calls 4,587
hoyazo shows [Ad Ac]
2raven shows [6h 6s]
*** RIVER *** [9s 3c 2s 3s] [8s]
hoyazo shows two pair, Aces and Threes
2raven shows a flush, Nine high
2raven wins the pot (36,304) with a flush, Nine high
hoyazo stands up

I do have the screenshots of this entire hand but I just can't stand looking at these piles of dogshit anymore. I really can't. All I know is, this is just the latest in a long long string of examples where I show the patience to wait until after the fucking turn card before getting allin, and still get megafucked. I mean, it's not like I slow-played pocket Aces to see a river, which is just about the fucking stoopidest thing anyone with AA can ever do in holdem (and yet I see it all the time). I raised my standard amount preflop from the cutoff when I was sure I was ahead, and the table chip leader called me from the blinds. I bet out my standard amount on the flop -- a little more than 2/3 of the 4300-chip pot -- when I was again sure I was ahead, and it was the raggiest flop you could imagine. Dinkhead table chip leader calls me out of the blinds. Now with about 12k in the pot, I check to the guy I am manipiulating like clay, and he bets out 8k into the 12k pot. I could not possibly be any happier of course, and I insta-push for my last 4500 or so on top. Now at this point it's 4k for him to call into a pot that is around 28k, so I can't kill him for not folding here. I thought for sure he would call, and I was dancing in my room knowing that he probably would. If you think I wanted him to fold here, then you're nuts. I'll take that last 4500 chips from him, why the F not! All I know is, I bet standard preflop, and I bet standard on the flop, and then I checkraised allin on the turn. So that ain't slowplaying AA. That's what we in the business call kicking the crap out of the table big stack and doubling up with AA by playing it perfectly. Beyond perfectly. He made a horrible play, but I can't blame him. I've yet to meet the person who doesn't double me up with the way I played that hand. It's not possible. I was just that good.

Then the river completes his 11-outer 24% shot, that he could not possibly think was anything more than a 2-outer btw, and IGH in 1331st place out of 4371 runners. I was one card away from being back in the top 100 in chips, and suddenly the fonkey who has lucksacked (obviously) his way into the table big stack knocks me out by playing so unmitigatingly poorly that the full tilt rng just has to reward him. What the flock can I do better than this? Like I said, if I slowplayed those Aces on any street, maybe you could question me. But I bet preflop, I bet the flop and I checkraised allin on the turn. It was perfect. Perfect doesn't even begin to describe it. I effed the guy and then full tilt effed me. Story of my life on full tilt poker dot comsucker.

I also played the Big Game on Sunday night, the latest BBTwo tournament, and I played well in that too, getting out to a decent win early on and then maintaining my stack above the 5000-chip starting stack from beginning to end of the tournament. Unfortunately, that end was about 90 minutes in, in 30-somethingth place, on one of the worst setup hands I have endured in some time:

FullTiltPoker Game #4223382025: Blogger Big Game (31592875), Table 4 - 150/300 Ante 25 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:17:40 ET - 2007/11/18
Seat 1: DonkeyPuncher74 (6,552)
Seat 2: Kajagugu (7,330)
Seat 3: irongirl01 (2,165)
Seat 4: HighOnPoker (10,935)
Seat 5: cmitch (15,361)
Seat 6: hoyazo (11,590)
Seat 7: OtisDart (14,472)
Seat 9: twoblackaces (4,270)
cmitch posts the small blind of 150
hoyazo posts the big blind of 300
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hoyazo [4c Th]
*Action folds to cmitch in the small blind.
cmitch calls 150
hoyazo checks
*** FLOP *** [8s Qh Tc]
cmitch checks
hoyazo bets 600
cmitch calls 600 So here I bet the flop with my second pair in the blind vs blind battle. I figured going in my Ten was most likely ahead, but when cmitch, a known tighty, called that bet, I figured maybe he happens to have a Queen. But don't worry, that's not the setup part of the hand. No way I'm going broke with 2nd pair 4 kicker, even in a blind vs. blind confrontation. Not a chance in hell.
*** TURN *** [8s Qh Tc] [Td]
cmitch bets 900
hoyazo calls 900 Now look at me. I'm so evil. First I bet out with 2nd pair, got called and put cmitch on a Queen, two pairs, something like that after he called me. Now I've turned trips and I have mitch exactly where I want him. What's more, this time he leads out against me. After I led out on the flop and he called. It's obvious he has a Queen or something similar at this point. So what do I do? I just call that bet. Like I said, I'm evil what can I say?
*** RIVER *** [8s Qh Tc Td] [6s]
cmitch bets 2,400
hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
hoyazo raises to 9,765, and is all in
cmitch has 15 seconds left to act
cmitch: man - horrible freaking turn card
cmitch has requested TIME
cmitch: yuk
cmitch: yuk
hoyazo: youre calling
hoyazo: i can tell
hoyazo: you dont believe
cmitch: u have a boat
cmitch: ?
cmitch calls 7,365
hoyazo: no i dont even have a car Great example of the humorous chat you always get from me in any tournament, even if you're too out of it to recognize my stellar play like most of you fuggerz.
*** SHOW DOWN ***
hoyazo shows [4c Th] three of a kind, Tens
cmitch shows [Js 9h] a straight, Queen high
cmitch wins the pot (23,330) with a straight, Queen high
hoyazo stands up

Now how do you not love that? So cmitch flopped a straight with J9o out of the small blind. So what if that hasn't happened for me in approximately the last seven years? I can live with that. It's the Ten on the turn that made this hand into the monstrous setup that it was. There is no way I can possibly think I'm behind in this hand once I trip up on the turn, even with my shit kicker. Anyone out there who doesn't go broke here? Then you're a fucking idiot. So there.

I guess without getting into the details, let me just say that I watched a lot, a lot, of absolutely horrible poker this weekend, basically seeing it repeatedly get rewarded in sick, disgusting and truly unbelievable ways. Some of this happened against me, and some of it was just things I saw from the rail. People with clearly no clue of how tournament poker works. People who obviously just wanted to go home. People who were so tilted that they had decided they were going allin before the hand even started regardless of what they were dealt or the action ahead of them. Again and again and again it got rewarded this weekend. There are not even words to describe the shit I saw. And yet all I did was get sucked out on 14 times over the weekend, with exactly, precisely zero suckouts in my favor over the same timespan. Think about it, you guys who played the donkament and the Big Game with me and/or who railed me in the FTOPS ME -- not one of you fonks saw me suck out on anyone even once. 14 suckouts against, zero suckouts for, over a good 10 or 15 hours of poker. Think about that, for real. Can any of you even really imagine what that must feel like? How the fuck do I still have a bankroll on full tilt? Seriously.

Btw congratulations to VinNay for winning the next BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions seat in the Big Game on Sunday. And congrats to jeciimd for his second place finish in the Big Game, following up on his Big Game victory from last month. That guy is on such a roll right now. Seriously guys, I do not understand why you people who run good all the time do not play the big tournaments all the time. How do you not? With the way I saw some people running this weekend -- again and again and afuckingain -- how can you not be finding the money to play in the biggest tournaments? I just don't understand. If I ran like that -- or if I even just didn't run horribly at all times every second of every minute of every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade of every century of every milennium -- you could not keep me away from the big weekly Sunday tournaments on full tilt and the similar shit on fuckerstars. You couldn't pay me not to play in them. I would play poker professionally and I would probably make 10-20 grand a day playing tournaments.

But instead I am perpetually cursed to get in ahead and finish up behind. How the fuck do I still even have a roll on full tilt? I honestly cannot explain it. With the sickass luckboxes I play against regularly, these people who don't even care to learn anything about poker or to better their sorrowfully flawed play and prefer instead to just keep making the same mistakes over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, I just can't understand it and I am having an incredibly difficuilt time right now even dealing with it all, just taking it all in. You know, there are plenty -- believe me -- of bad poker players among our group of ghey bloggers. But even some of the bad ones are obviously trying to better themselves, trying to figure out what goes wrong and striving to get better. And I respect that. Those people have a little bit of me in them. Sure, they haven't spent the last five years reading every single poker book ever put out onto the market and constantly practicing what they're reading and consistently focusing on their game, their mistakes and on improving their decision-making. But even some of the poor players you can just tell are trying to get better, even if only in their own ways. It's the people who just make no effort whatsoever to improve that are getting to me lately. I don't know. I am more down on poker right now for sure than I've been at any time since starting this blog. I may need to go back and read through my archives from 600 posts ago and see how true that really is. I remember getting sucked out on to bust out of I think 15 or 16 consecutive tournaments on fuckerstars. But I left that site long ago and it's been much better since then. I can honestly say I'll never go back to dickwadstars, because I think the site sucks and I hope it licks my balls. This is as low as it gets for me. At least I hope it can't get any lower than this.

OK after that positive spin on things, tonight is the latest fucking BBTwo tournament -- Fucking Mondays at the Shiteating Hoy.

FMATSH goes off tonight at 10pm ET as always on full fucking fucktilt. Password as always is "hammer". Tonight as I've mentioned previously will be turbo 6-max holdem. If you don't like that format, then please take your shitty titty poker game and fuck off. And in case you're wondering, I meant what I said last week when I said I had given up on doing well in these fonkfests. I'll tell you shitheads what I'm going to do tonight -- I am going to suck out on someone. Bad. At least I'm going to try. I saw so many people win so many huge hands this weekend by calling huge preflop allins with big stacks and pocket 4s, by instapushing in huge massive overbets with 95o and getting called by strong hands, that tonight my only goal in life is to play like a fucking monkey without a clue about tournament poker and ruin somebody's night. That's what I've been reduced to. You fuckers think you're the only ones who can act like shitcocks and consistently get away with it? Well you're right -- obviously I will get donked early whenever I try to play the exact opposite of smart tournament poker like I described above and suck out on someone else. But I'm going to try anyways. For the FMATSH's $26 buyin tonight, all I want to do is ruin someone's else night. Destroy their chance at making the BBTwo ToC freeroll, and crush their dreams of going to Australia to donk themselves out of a real poker tournament in the first hour or two because that anushead hasn't got the first fucking clue how to play this game and not a bone in their body is interested in trying to improve. All you assholes who sit around and rely on refuckulous luck and idiotic play to win a buck or two once in a long, long while, watch out tonight. I'm not even going to think about trying to win, cash, make the points, or even survive at all in the MATH tonight. Tonight is all about trying my damnedest to do to some of you little shits what's been done to me and what I've seen you do to others for farrrrr too long.

Tonight I am coming for you. Be there at 10pm ET on fuck tilt "poker".

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