Monday, December 03, 2007

MATH, Mywebatm and Playing Suited Connectors Late in an MTT

First things first for a glorious Monday morning in New York City....

So after much discussion and back and forth with full tilt, tonight's MATH tournament, with I think just 7 events left in the BBTwo and thus 7 chances left to win your seat into the BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions freeroll later this month, is going to be a "normal" 6-max no-limit holdem tournament. We did this once before about a month or so ago and personally I loved it, and in fact it seems more and more likely to me that the long-term MATH will be 6-max nlh forever more after 2007 is in the books. So no turbo, no rebuys, but just plain old short-handed nlh this evening in a return to quasi-normalcy for the last couple MATH tournaments in the BBTwo.

For interest's sake, my original plan as recently as the middle of last week was to have a shootout tournament for this week, but in the end full tilt simply does not have the technicial capability at this time to run a shootout format, even though as I explained to them repeatedly, it is shockingly simple to set up. Nonetheless, there is a reason why you never see any shootout formats on full tilt, as opposed to on pokerstars which runs double shootout satellites regularly into their large Sunday tournaments, etc. I still can't really believe that full tilt cannot make this happen (are you listening FTP John? FTPDoug?), but for now rather than pursue a sort of contrived setup we had been discussing to approximate a shootout tournament, instead we're just going to run a regular 6-max nlh event for this evening's MATH.

Similarly, after a lot of discussion with full tilt, they simply cannot offer me the heads-up tournament structure that I was hoping to set up for our last BBTwo-enabled MATH next Monday night. Again there were some creative options for approximating a real heads-up tournament structure, but in the end IMO it was more work than it is worth, and with too much potential for trouble like I know we've had before for heads-up private tournaments on full tilt. To me this is even dumber than the lack of a shootout tournament structure, as full tilt has got to be crazy not to be running a heads-up nlh tournament as part of the FTOPS for example, given all the pros that are associated with full tilt and who play there on a regular basis. To think that full tilt has yet to offer a $216 (or $535, for that matter) buyin event in a heads-up format with all those pros in any of now six FTOPS tournament series is beyond me, but it's true. So, no heads-up action for us next week, which will probably end up just being 6max nlh as well, although I will let you know right here of any changes to that sometime within the week.

So come out tonight for the latest BBTwo tournament and the 7th-to-last chance to win that Tournament of Champions seat in tonight's shorthanded nlh MATH tournament at 10pm ET on full tilt. Password as always is "hammer", and the buyin is back to the usual $26 or tier I token.

On an unrelated note, I got what I consider to be a ridickulous email from full tilt this weekend, advising me of an impending change involving mywebatm, one of full tilt's current payment processors, and I was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the matter. Basically, the email said that, due to "anticipated technical difficulties" (whatever that means), full tilt was immediately decreasing deposit limits from mywebatm to a paltry amount (I think $100 a day, $200 a week and $300 a month, which amounts I think are already even lower than that). Moreover, full tilt was offering me a frigging bonus of up to 50% of my reload, but only if I withdraw my entire account balance to mywebatm, and then redeposit to full tilt within 7 days using a different payment processor. Huh? So now full tilt is going to give up a 50% bonus, but only if I withdraw my entire full tilt account balance to one of their previous payment processors, and then redeposit from a different processor? Full tilt is going to pay me to withdraw every dollar I have from their site? WTF is going on here? Does this sound as recockulous to you guys as it does to me? I know with 100% certainty that there is more to this story than meets the eye, because believe you me, it would take quite a significant issue for any poker site to literally pay me to take all my entire account balance out of their site. I read that email again this morning and I'm still basically in disbelief. I did notice that mywebtatm's website seems to have changed from its previous address at to now Not sure what is up with all that but I'm sure that this has something to do with those "anticipated technical difficulties" that the email referred to. But you know it's something significant when I'm not even willing to take the free money from full tilt to participate in whatever silly scheme they have cooking up. Can anyone out there tell me why on earth full tilt would offer me up to a $500 bonus to completely deplete my account with them and then redeposit via another payment processor? For the life of me this shit sounds fishy as hell and I am loathe to participate until I can understand more wtf is going on. Bad, bad email from full tilt on that one. And it's not the first time.

I also wanted to put up an interesting hand that went down this weekend for me in the nightly minefield known as the 28k guaranteed on full tilt. This was late in hour 3 of the tournament, where we were just about 60 players away from the money spots, with around 240 players remaining out of 1100-some who had started. I was low in chips, with a little under 9k in my stack at a time when the average stack in the tournament was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 or 16k, so I was basically under half the average and somewhat in need of making a quick move with the blinds at 250-500 and a 50-chip ante per hand, giving me an M of somewhere around 6.

So, I am dealt T9s in middle position. UTG folds, as does UTG+1. The next player, who is sitting on a stack size similar to my own, puts in a minraise to 1000 chips. I'm looking at a bet that is about 1/9 of my existing stack, and with five players still to act behind me and 2200 chips already in the pot from the blinds and antes.

How do you like to play this hand before the flop? Call, raise or fold here?

I will tell you that I opted to make the call. Of course I was hoping to see the flop for no more than the 1000 chips already bet by the early-middle position player, and T9s is a great hand to take someone down with in a very not foreseeable way. But I think the two biggest reasons I called were (1) the possibility of a multiway pot developing since we had an early-middle position minraise, and then my own call also from middle position, and still with five players left behind me including the two blinds who would be highly likely to call in my view since they were already in for their blinds and since the raise was only another 500 chips on top, and (2) I was short. In this case, I was getting into desperation territory, I needed to make a big hand pretty quick or my stack would soon be dwindling into worthless territory, and this hand was in my view a perfect opportunity to either make something big happen, or hopefully let me out fairly cheap with not too much damage to my stack given that it was already short to begin with. I view this as a questionable call on my part, but by no means a terrible one, and I like my reasoning for making the call, but I would be interested in hearing any thoughts you all have on the matter.

Anyways, we end up seeing just a three-way flop -- something I still can't believe that at least the blinds did not call given the pot odds they were receiving to make such a call, but the player to my immediate left called as well giving us three players to see this flop:

So I've flopped bottom two pairs on a high-card, connecting board with no suits. As you can see above, the first player checked to me on this flop.

Now what would you do here? There are now 4200 chips in the pot, and I have 7,774 chips remaining in my stack. Do you check or bet? If it's bet, then now much?

Let me know your thoughts and I will be back tomorrow with some more of this fun hand to analyze.

Before then, I will see you tonight for 6max Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt! By the way, in I'm sure a vain attempt to combat the constant tilt I've been on lately, including basically this entire weekend, I will be getting sloshed for the MATH again tonight. You might as well be too.

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Blogger WildDuces234 said...

WSOP Circuit is going to begin this Sat Dec 8th. I am planning to attend, I was wondering if anyone was planning on playing any of these? I am planning on playing At least these two:
Sat 8th 300 + 40 NLHM starts at noon.
Sun 9th 300 + 40 NLHM starts at noon.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

I shove on that flop. You're getting called by any Q, and any OESD, and, this being you, any backdoor flush draw.

Get paid right away. Even if you chase off the field, you still take a nice little pot.

Put it this way, if you are pressured, are you getting away from this flop? Nope. So put on the pressure yourself. Pooooooooosh!!!

1:22 AM  
Blogger CSuave said...


I am betting FT promised the new processor tons of business and wants to start off on a big showing of tons of money transferring in via the new service.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Who is the new processor? They didn't mention anything about a new payment processor in their email to me. That's part of why this is so confusing. I think in fact they even mentioned epassporte in their email as the best other option.

1:55 AM  
Blogger lj said...

i am with julius. i probably shove there and cross fingers that nobody has KJ or J8.

2:08 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

The reason I don't believe a push is automatic here is based on what you said. You are short and need a big hand. So you want to get a lot out of this. And while bottom two pair is not a huge hand, it's definitely a nice one and probably one that will be tough for someone to put on.

The problem is it's a fairly scary board, so no one may bluff at it, and you really can't let someone draw out at you.

So I would bet, but I would not shove. I would bet 2/3rds of the pot, if not less, and try to make it look like you were feeling it out or buying the pot. The hope is someone thinks that too and shoves with a weak Q.
If you shove here, you are showing strength on a tough board, and I could see someone folding a semi-strong hand here, even if they have a weak Q.
So, the way I see it, you are almost getting more value out of a light bet than a push because in this case you need value from this hand.

I wouldn't play the hand that light if I didn't need the chips as much. If I had a stack I'd just shove and hope for a call.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

I would pray someone bets out and try to check-raise all-in on the flop.

2:25 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

I would:

2)Close my eyes
3)Grab my ankles

If you want to do more than make the money, this seems to be your shot.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

I shove every time.

3:03 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

Preflop call is spewage imo. Calling off over 10% of your stack pre trying to hit a flop just isn't winning poker to me. Espially when that call is heads-up and doesn't come close to closing that action.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Why would all you people open shove twice the size of the pot there? In most cases you have the best hand here. Why not bet half the pot so it looks weak, hopefully get put in by someone else so you can accumulate chips? You want people drawing slim against your big hands so you will get paid. Playing scared poker will not allow you to accumulate the chips you need. I don't even have a problem checking here in hope of check pushing.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Chad, the main reason I'd overpush is that I'd fully expect to be called on that flop with . . .

a) a queen with any kicker.

b) an OESD

c) an ISD with Big Slick

d) almost any pair from 22 up.

Then again, I've been playing SNGs and haven't actually seen a fold occur since before Halloween unless I've been doing the folding.

Not giving a free card on a connected board is a secondary consideration. Bottom 2 pair is strong but it's very very very very very very easy to lose with. Watching a checkaround and then seeing a King or an eight fall would be sickening.

3:41 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

bet T$1k on the flop and hope you get reraised. then, push the turn regardless of what comes.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

I'm with lucko, I would have folded pre-flop. I don't think I have the chips to screw around with crap like T9s. On the flop, I either push, or at least bet heavy into the flop, 3500-4000 chips.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Buddy Dank said...

The BuddyDank System dictates that since you do not have the nutz you must check-fold here.
Unless it's on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and you've had a bit to drink then it's a push preflop.

5:20 AM  
Blogger emptyman said...

My immediate reaction was shove and grab ankles. But I've reconsidered.

But I really like Chad's comment about continuing to play good poker here, not scared poker.

Taking this pot would be nice, but with such a strong hand we have to look to double up, not just take a few BB.

Since we're taking this hand to the river, I agree with something like Smokkee suggested. Bet out a small amount, then reraise/jam or shove on the turn.

Get all our chips in the pot, but get someone to come with us, and hope for the best.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

I'm with Julius there. I can't see early middle min-raising with KJ in that spot, and player on your left calling KJ seems unlikely. Slight change of QQ by early mid, but his PF raise would have been quite a bit bigger, and probably a PF shove. Odds of 99 or TT very insignificant, as he'd need case cards in both situations.

So, you're good, but probably vunerable. But either player could have JJ, or AA, or even 88, and the only time you're going to have any FE is right now. In fact, you're likely facing at least one AQ, and if an A comes out, your tournament is probably done. I don't think you have enough chips to bet here without shoving.

Bottom two pair is wonderful, but no monster, and if you take it down now, you've added 30% to your stack. While a double or triple up would be preferred, you can't even sneeze at your stack increasing 1/3 here.

That said, I fold this PF from your position. If I'm cutoff or the button, I might raise, but only if I swallowed hard first and was willing to call off my chips to a blind squeeze.

But I'm not chad, and I suck. ;-)

5:29 AM  
Blogger WildDuces234 said...

I think with the bottme two here- I liked shoving here myself- A value bets here ussually make me throw up in my mouth a little.

Great comment sting -

10:20 AM  
Blogger Rob1606 said...

I would push. The pot is half your stack, this is a pot worth winning right now, and your hand can only get worse.

Sure, your stack remains on the small side, but 12k doesn't look that bad right now: your M would be 10! That means you have gained a lot of breathing space. No need to be desperate for a while yet :-)

8:11 PM  

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