Monday, November 12, 2007

New MATH, BBTwo Scoring and FTOPS Update

Well, it's another Monday, and that can mean only one thing:

Mondays at the Hoy, tonight, 10pm et on full tilt. Password as always is "hammer". And tonight, after what I think was a very fun and successful experiment with some 6-max nlh in last week's Hoy, this week we will once again be doing things a little bit different. For all you ring game donkeys out there, we are back to full ring instead of 6-max play for this week. But tonight, for a change, we are implementing a different kind of change that is all but sure to lead to the best, most skilled poker player winning the MATH tournament this week: Turbo!! That's right -- tonight's Mondays at the Hoy tournament will be a $26 deep stacks Turbo no-limit holdem tournament, meaning that the blinds (and antes) will escalate at the faster pace compared to the normal blogger events.

The change to Turbo format for this week only will surely help end the event at an earlier time which I think is good for just about everyone. My hope is that some of you east coast donkeys out there who might never have played before because you know going in that you can't afford to stay up until 1:30 in the morning playing an online poker tournament, can now get in there and play for your chance to sit in the BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions freeroll in late December for a shot at an 18k Aussie Millions prize package. Starting at 10pm ET, there is every reason to believe that the tournament will be down to near the final table or so after two full hours of turbo blinds escalation this evening, and it should be done entirely with 2 1/2 hours is my guess. Maybe less. And you know what, even though turbo events obviously favor the lucky at the expense of the players whose higher skill level would normally allow them to wait for strong hands and then get paid off with them, there is still a definite skill to turbo events. I should know -- I've played hundreds of them. And if you haven't noticed, these BBTwo-enabled blogger tournaments have already been luckfests as it is thanks to the larger field sizes involved, so I don't really think we're changing much here in practical reality, other than the length of this week's tournament as well as the specific suite of skills needed to win out (aggression is much more important in a turbo event, for obvious reasons). So come on out and play tonight in the first Turbo BBT tournament in the history of time, where the 11th seat to the Tournament of Champions will be awarded sometime probably shortly after midnight.

And one other thing while I'm on the topic of the BBTwo. I've seen it kinda tangentially referenced in a few blog posts, and I've had discussions about this point in various girly chats over the past few weeks since the BBTwo has been running, but for the record I just want to definitively acknowledge here the obvious truth about the new scoring system for the BBT: it works. Brilliantly. How many people have you heard bitching about the scoring system this time around? How many people have you seen or heard others talking about seeing playing sub-optimal poker, just in an attempt to reach "the points"? The advent of a Tournament of Champions, combined with awarding points to only a sensible number of the top finishers as opposed to any donkey who came in 41st in an 83-person Mookie tournament, has left us with 100% exactly what I was clamoring for so often during the first BBT: the players are clearly not even considering the scoring system when they are playing the game. And as I've written here previously several times, that my friends should be the goal of any scoring system in a poker tournament -- it should only operate in the background, and never possibly apply to anyone's actual play in an actual tournament. Nowadays, these tournaments are running 100% just like the always did before the BBT came along -- tons of people are going out early, and there's not a single donk I can see trying to "fold to the points" or some shit like that. In short, we have completely fixed the scoring problem from the first BBT, and with the ToC idea for the 18k grand prize, there is very little doubt that people are playing the games just the way they should be.

OK so to recap briefly the poker action from this weekend. Friday night was FTOPS #3 in pot-limit holdem, $216 buyin. Unfortunately, less than 10 minutes in I found my old friend QQ on the button. So I reraised the early position raiser preflop and got called. I bet the total raggy heads up flop and got called. I then checked the raggy turn to try to elicit a bet, which is exactly what I got. I put in a substantial raise and I got reraised allin. At this point I would have had 600 chips left (starting stacks just five minutes earlier had been 3000) in what was basically already a 5000-chip pot, so even though at that point I knew I was beat, I called off the rest in the hopes that he was some kind of a TPTK donkey or maybe a small overpair donkey. He wasn't. He was a big overpair donkey -- KK. And IGH less than ten minutes in to FTOPS #3. That right there was a terrible play by me, and not one that I usually make. Yes it was obviously a massive setup hand and there's no way I don't lose a ton of chips with QQ against KK on a completely raggy flop. But going broke to that hand was bad, bad poker by me, and despite the setup it's my job to minimize the damage just as much as it is to maximize the payoff when I'm the guy with KK in that spot, and in that I failed miserably in FTOPS #3. Jeciimd did manage to cash, the only blogger I saw who cashed in the pot-limit holdem FTOPS tournament, ending somewhere near the middle-top of the top 100 as I recall for some $420 for his efforts.

At the same time on Friday was the Friday night donkament on full tilt, where I played loose and had fun and busted some people by playing some low crappy connectors and flopping to them for a change. Eventually Mr. KOD himself lived up to his name and called my allin preflop raise with 52o when down to 3-handed for all his chips. Suffice it to say that his two pairs by the turn card were enough to send me to the rail in the gheyest possible fashion at the hands of the luckbox who should really be known more as KOBD (King of Blog Deleters) more than anything else. But, amazingly KOD did also claw his way to another 5th place finish in the nightly 28k donkfest over the weekend, so I'm happy to report that the KOD title is alive and well in Las Vegas. And speaking of Chad, I did not play FTOPS #4, the $535 6max PLO event that I would have really loved to play, but I did get to watch Chad play well early, then get tilty and pissy and start calling allins with total garbage hands. There's something really fun about watching Chad suck out on people when he is actively trying to lose in a tournament. Something about the way he plays when he's doing well and getting good cards really makes it uber annoying to get sucked out on by that kind of stuff from the same guy, but that's what makes poker fun. So Chad ended up I think in 18th in FTOPS #4, cashing for over $1800 in the process, so kudos to him for that one.

I don't know much about the other FTOPS events over the weekend, other than FTOPS #7 on Sunday night, the $322 nlh tournament with the $1 million guarantee, which ended up being closer to 1.4M by the time the virtual cards were in the virtual air on Sunday at 6pm ET. Here, I would like to tell you how great it was that I once again outlasted the other bloggers I knew of in this event, which I did. But I still only made it just over two hours in, and god dam if I didn't play on absolute life tilt the entire time. Sunday was not a good day for me due to some personal issues, and lord knows if I hadn't already spent time and money qualifying for this pre-scheduled $322 buyin tournament then I would never have been online playing then given the mindset I was in at the time. But I felt like I had to make a run, so since I didn't really want to be there in the least but felt "forced" to play, I went and played like a complete maniac from start to finish. I repeatedly moved allin for huge overbets on the flop, never getting called on any of them, but the fact is I was making these moves with hands like two overs and a flush draw on the flop, stuff like that. Stuff where if I'm actually called by anyone in that spot, I'm going to be a dog and need to hit something within the next two cards or IGH. It kept working for a while, but as you can imagine my stack was vacillating like crazy as I was just not playing normal poker.

This was tilt poker, plain and simple. Life tilt had turned my game on Sunday into a shell of its usual self, and I went out there and basically made donkey plays any time I hit any part of the board. I bluffed almost with abandon without regard to the cards out on the board or what I had in my hand. In short I just played a totally reckless game, and eventually it caught up with me about 2 hours and 15 minutes in. In the end IGH in something like 1400th place out of around 4480 runners, so I fared decently well all things considered, given the way I know I was actually playing in the game. If you watched me on Sunday, don't think that's how I normally play. That guy was not me. That was some life-tilted aggro-donkey who wanted to lose in there sitting in for my ususal self. Hopefully late on Sunday night I took the necessary steps to rectify the source of that tilt, because during FTOPS time is when I just need the clearest head possible, not a bunch of trouble and issues that I don't normally feel like dealing with even when I'm not focused on winning my family a ton of money in a series of big-guarantee poker tournaments.

Only time will tell I suppose if I've really taken care of this latest issue or not that wreaked such havoc on my poker tournament game over the weekend. Luckily my cash game does not seem affected, and I managed to have another typical full tilt cash poker weekend where I made a lot more money than I lost overall for the past few days. But I can't expect to continue to play well in big tournaments or in cash games when I have the powers that be conspiring to get in my head at a time when the tournament I am in requires total, 100% focus if I am to have any chance to make a big score, so that's something I definitely need to keep an eye on over the next few days. Until then I definitely hope to see all of you for a night of turbo poker donkery as the BBTwo starts off a brand new week with tonight's Mondays at the Hoy tournament at 10pm ET on full tilt!

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Blogger Riggstad said...

i made it past the second break as well hoy. Very much would have liked to have ended on the first hand based on the way I eventually went out. Not any particular hand, but the sequence of three or four hands that ultimately ended my demise...

Maybe we'll have a better go at it this weekend...

GL tonight

1:35 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

You have the worst memory of any poker play that I know. I know we all think we play so well and forget the retarded plays that we make it just human nature. I had your ass felted when you check raised me (with zero fold equity) with some crap pair and rivered an Ace. So in reality you should of been felted already! So of course I am going to try and pay you back, plus its $1!!!!!

Oh, I got 18th in FTOPS btw..... PLO is nuts, you have four cards and I will play almost any four especially 6-max! I appreciate the critique though about being overly aggressive in 6-max PLO, I didn't know there was such a thing?

2:37 AM  

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