Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm Cursed in the Mookie, Did I Ever Mention That Before?

The new old ESPN Radio shirt was rocking the Hammer House again last night, and once again I played some solid poker in the Mookie, the only poker I played on the night. And I even got a little bit lucky along the way. A very little bit. Around halfway through the 105-person field, Bobby Bracelet reraised my preflop raise for about the 85th time I was reraised before the flop as my preflop raises were getting especially little respek on the night, and I finally said fuck it and re-reraised allin with my QJs allin for another 3k or so in chips. I knew I had the best kind of hand to crack a monster with, but truth be told I of course would not have made the move had I thought I was up against any kind of monster. Bobby naturally flipped up pocket Aces (I ran into them three times on the night and amazingly lived to tell about each one without busting), and somehow I flopped T8x and then turned the 9 for the miracle inside straight. Bobby as usual was much more of a man than I would ever be, maintaining his cool after this dumbass beat as he lasted through another hour or so in the Mookie, including cracking some pocket Aces with his own QJs at some point later and stealing about 10 more pots from me along the way.

Unfortunately, that suckout with the QJ would be the only thing resembling luck I would see on the entire night. Otherwise, I won one race against a guy who's mouthed off to me in the chat more times than anyone else, since way back when in the early days of the WWdN, when I called his late short push with his 77 with my AKo. This guy was predictably angry in the chat afterwards, but what did he expect there? I thought his short-stack push with 77 was a fine, normal move, although some others on the rail questioned the need for the push. He didn't have to push at that point, but with only around 10 big blinds in his stack at the time, I thought the push made sense, and I'm fairly sure it's what I would have done on a short stack in that same spot. Similarly, of course I'm calling the short stack with AK, that's (I thought) a no-brainer. Seems like everyone sitting at the table and really everyone on the Earth agreed with me there, but to the perpetual dirty chatter I was just "calling off 2/3 of my stack with Ace-high." Hmmmmm. And you wonder why I've had so much success in the blonkaments. Sometimes it's like people are just repeating things they've heard but obviously don't understand at all from other, completely different situations and trying to act like it applies in the current situation. It can be frustrating to the other players at the table when this happens, but at least whoever is lucky enough to get it in against the unknowing usually comes out on top.

Anyways, I made another Mookie final table playing in my new lucky shirt. I did not record any other suckouts after the big acecrackage of Bobby, but I played very well and picked up some decent starting hands when others pushed their dwindling stacks into me, and all of a sudden there I was sitting in first place with just six players remaining, with around 115k in chips compared to my next closest competitor who sat at around 65k. I remember typing to KOD in the chat that I hated the thought of knowing I was going to blow that big chip lead, which he agreed with because, as with most things poker, the King knows what he is talking about. The amazing thing was, my entire stack was gone probably within 10 minutes of that very moment. First I reraised stb big with my AK in the blinds against his utg raise, and he waits a bit, before typing in "screw it" and calling with 66. Not normally a strong play at any point in the tournament, but stb had been clear he needed to get to bed already to get up for his early flight to Vegas on Thursday, and ultimately he was probably on a stack about a third of my size and he decided to go for it. Booooom he flopped a set and I had lost my second out of three races on the day. The first one hadn't meant a whole lot to my stack, but this one hurt and dropped me back down into second place behind PirateLawyer.

Sadly it was just 5 or 6 hands later when I think it was again PirateLawyer who raised it up from middle position before the flop, and I looked down to find AQs. Even having been donked out of the Mook a few weeks back in 4th place with my AQ, I had seen PirateLawyer make a lot of silly moves on the night and figured my AQ was at least likely ahead or for sure racing, so I pushed it allin, basically indifferent to getting called or not. Pirate called with pocket 9s, and Boooooom he flopped a set and I was out, losing my 3rd of four races overall on the night. It was some bad fucking luck for me at the final table no doubt, but I also didn't exactly play to protect my stack like I could/should have. I mean, I think the push against stb's relatively short stack with 6 players left with my AK is pretty automatic. I obviously don't mind a race there given the chance of taking down the large blinds and antes plus stb's raise that was already in the pot, plus the chance of stb calling with a lower dominated Ace, plus the chance of him calling with anything other than AA or KK and me being still a roughly 48% chance to win. That one I would do again and again and twice on Sunday, and I wanted to get it allin there preflop to ensure I see five cards with my AK.

On the second hand, I knew PirateLawyer was in there with some relatively weak starting cards, and just as with the first race lost, I was sure to be the one making the large allin raise, as opposed to the one calling off my stack with a hand like AQ, so I think I managed the fold equity well. Well, to the extent a mythical thing like fold equity exists in the blonkaments, I suppose. But I'm not saying I fold on a big stack with the pocket 9s in PirateLawyer's spot either -- I very well might, but I might not. When I already know I'm going to showdown because the other player has moved me allin, and I have a stack to protect, folding pocket 9s in this spot is definitely the money move to make, but like I said there is very little fold equity in these things and it's not like that was news to me. I didn't put PirateLawyer on AA, KK, QQ or AK so I moved 'em allin, got the call and ran into my second flopped set in 6 hands for the quick elimination.

In all, like I said, my allin with AK against stb was pretty much automatic, but I guess there is something to be said for me overplaying AQ now for the second time at the final table of the Mookie in the past few weeks. I will need to review the hand in more detail but of course against another large stack I could have just called the preflop raise and then folded to my miss on the flop. I don't love that option given all the dead money already in the pot from the blinds and antes, but even at that point I had enough chips to withstand the preflop call and then flop fold. I think my move was fine, but it was a bit unnecessarily aggro and I paid the price for it, what can I say.

On the night, I was dealt AA once, which I eliminated katiemother with I believe, no KK, no QQ, and JJ once, which I near-eliminated Rake Feeder with after that guy had fucked with just about every preflop raise I made for more than an hour. I got AK three times, winning twice with it and then losing the big hand against stb. I saw AQ once, which I was eliminated with on the race, AJ once which I lost to someone's AQ around the middle of the tournament. So on the whole we're looking at just one premium pair, one JJ, and a small number of high Aces. It was pretty typical starting cards for me, nothing special by any means, and I think I did about the best I could with what I was dealt. Lots of people at the final table had incredible runs of luck in this thing, including at least one player who received at least five pocket Aces just that I saw. Man that has got to be nice. I think that happened to me once and I bankrupted an entire public company casino winning so much in that tournament. Otherwise I seem perpetually stuck with not much to work with in the Mookie, and with no chance of ever taking the thing down. What else is new. If I win that first race with stb, I am quite sure I win my first Mookie. It's that simple. I would have had over 150k in chips, a good three times even the second place player with just 6 remaining, and I am a pretty good bet to close it out with my late-game skills. In that spot I likely just fold my AQ against PirateLawyer's preflop raise a few hands later, waiting for a better spot where domination or a pocket pair is just not an issue, and I'm pretty sure I would have won. Even if I lose that first race but win the second against PirateLawyer, that puts me right back in first place and even there, I have the best shot of the remaining six players to win. It would have been nice to at least have been able to watch the board fall with some excitement in either of those two races, but having both opponents flop sets was pretty fucking annoying if I don't say so myself. Running into two flopped sets within 6 hands at the final table of a tournament is always good, isn't it? And hey, in the first hand against stb I even ended up four-flushing the nut flush at the river. But you know about my luck with flushes, and overall nut flushes seem to make me about a 15% underdog to win, and that hand was no exception as stb flopped a set and turned a boat before I ever made my nut flush at the end. Sick.

All that being said, usually I'm on here telling you guys how dominatingly I played when I make it this far. Surely I played a good game overall last night, but really to be honest my run was much more the result of some lucky situations (as opposed to lucky cards, which I had very little of) and less the result of superior play by me. Of course I should have been out when I pushed allin into Bobby's pocket Aces with 30-some players left, and that always sucks to suck out against someone who doesn't play like a douchebag, especially given how few such players there really are in our group. But Bobby has never actually made a fucking idiotic play against me in as long as I can ever remember. How many of you dinkheads can I possibly say that about? 2? 3? So that sucked, but I'll take it. And other than that, the majority of my chip accumulation occurred really in just good situations that I was faced with, like when I was dealt middling Aces against a button open-pusher on a short stack so I could call with confidence that I was ahead at the time. Or, I was dealt pocket 9s on the button when a short stack open-pushed from the cutoff. Stuff like that. Situations where I could make calls against short stacks who had no reason to be strong and then just take my odds to win. I made a few good plays but overall, this was not my best night of poker in the Mookie, not by a longshot. So I had a great chance to win and I got kinda fucked up at the final table, but I'm not cursing myself this morning like I have so many times in the past. Last night, unlike so many other nights before me in this godforsaken tournament, was not really my night and I was just lucky to be there.

How sad is that? On a night that I flop zero sets, flop only one two-pair hand, and didn't even flop a flucking flush draw all night long, on a night where I received exactly one premium pair and just four AK or AQ hands, losing two of those four as it is, on a night where I lost three out of four races overall , and on a night where I ran into flopped sets twice in the span of six hands at the fucking final table, that is what constitutes getting lucky in the Mookie for me. My lord that is sad. But I'm serious though. The suckout against Bobby was the first time I remember sucking out against anybody in a meaningful pot in the Mookie in at least several months with no exceptions. And I actually feel bad about it! But the reality is what it is, and last night I was more lucky than good so running into those two flopsets in races at the final table was just not as crushing to me as many of the other curse-fuckings I've received in the Mook on nights when I played a heck of a lot better than this week. That said, congratulations to PirateLawyer for the victory, beating out a couple of other extreme lucksacks on the night on your way to nabbing the 5th-to-last BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions seat. That is going to be a funny field in the Aussie Millions ToC freeroll in a few weeks, with a number of real tournament playas in there, and a number of recockulous lucksacks thrown in for good measure. I'm looking forward to handicapping that field when the entire list of participants is set.

Don't forget to come out tonight for the latest Riverchasers tournament, which as always is at 9pm ET on full tilt (password is "riverchasers"), where the 4th-to-last ToC seat will be awarded to some luckerfucker in I'm sure quite dramatic fashion. With the cool bloggers all invading Las Vegas this week, the field is likely to be somewhat lighter than usual for tonight's Riverchasers tournament, although as I understand it some number of bloggers will even be dorking it up to play the tournament while sitting out in Sin City. I plan to be there and hopefully to get some kind of momentum from this week's Mookie to spark me to an early run in this tournament that I have won 3.99 times already this year. But what a field of ducking fonkeys the RC usually is. Should be another good time tonight.

Hopefully as you read this you are preparing to head out to Vegas for the weekend. As I haven't been writing about it here, it is probably obvious to most of you that I will not be making the trip unfortunately. With my family at home and not in a position with the two young kids to make the trip with me, I am really a once a year kind of a guy -- frankly I'm amazed at how supportive Hammer Wife is with me even going once a year, given how much she despises gambling and everything associated with it -- and for me, that one visit a year to Las Vegas has to be for the World Series of Poker. I've qualified for at least one WSOP event now two years in a row, and so I've been out there for the summer gathering for the past few years. Personally I think it is really sad that a bunch of poker bloggers have ended up focusing on the winter gathering instead of the summer gathering, as the winter get togethers have proven to be much larger than the corresponding ones in the summer in each of the years I've been out there, but I am more than ok dealing with that reality and so be it. Still, I know from experience that this will be a fucking kick ass weekend for everyone who heads out there, some of you for the first time to meet a bunch of us whose writings you read regularly for the very first time, and others to re-cement friendships that have been made online as well as through various in-person meetings either at previous WPBT gatherings, Okie-Vegas, Weekend at Mookie's, the Bash, etc. I hope everyone has as great a time as I know you will, and I look forward to reading all about the weekend from the various trip reports that are sure to hit the blogwaves around the early to middle part of next week. And I say middle, because some of the very best stories often take a few days to tell due to the generally unreal amounts of fuckedupness exhibited by the coolest bloggers over the entirety of these long weekends. Live it up guys and write down as much as you can when you get back!

See you tonight for the Riverchasers at 9pm ET on full tilt.

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Blogger Shrike said...

I enjoyed seeing you at the final table last night Hoy; I wasn't sure I was going to get there. Your comment that I made a lot of silly moves last night caused my eyebrows to rise, especially since we didn't play together until the final table. I really did think you were on course to take the whole thing down, I do admit.

Anyhow, when I do a full recap of the Mookie over at my blog I will try to address my supposed penchant for making questionable moves. =)

12:10 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

Cheer up Francis!

3:30 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

Hoy, please drop me a line via e-mail. You can find it in my profile. Thanks!

9:30 AM  

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